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noun \ˈslēp\

Simple Definition of sleep

  • : the natural state of rest during which your eyes are closed and you become unconscious

  • : a period of sleep especially of a particular kind

  • : the dry substance that sometimes forms in the corners of your eyes while you are sleeping

Full Definition of sleep

  1. 1 :  the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored — compare REM sleep, slow-wave sleep

  2. 2 :  a state resembling sleep: asa :  a state of torpid inactivityb :  death <put a pet cat to sleep>; also :  trance, comac :  the closing of leaves or petals especially at nightd :  a state marked by a diminution of feeling followed by tingling <my foot's gone to sleep>e :  the state of an animal during hibernation

  3. 3a :  a period spent sleepingb :  nightc :  a day's journey

  4. 4 :  crusty matter present in the corner of an eye upon awakening

sleep·like play \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of sleep

  1. I just need to get some sleep.

  2. How much sleep did you get last night?

  3. Her roommate talks in her sleep.

  4. The noise woke her from a deep sleep.

  5. He woke up and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes.

Origin of sleep

Middle English slepe, from Old English slǣp; akin to Old High German slāf sleep and perhaps to Latin labi to slip, slide

First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Physiology Terms




Simple Definition of sleep

  • : to rest your mind and body by closing your eyes and becoming unconscious

  • : to have enough space for (a specified number of people) to sleep in it

Full Definition of sleep

slept play \ˈslept\ sleep·ing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to rest in a state of sleep

  3. 2 :  to be in a state (as of quiescence or death) resembling sleep

  4. 3 :  to have sexual relations —usually used with with

  5. transitive verb
  6. 1 :  to be slumbering in <slept the sleep of the dead>

  7. 2 :  to get rid of or spend in or by sleep <sleep away the hours> <sleep off a headache>

  8. 3 :  to provide sleeping accommodations for <the boat sleeps six>

Examples of sleep

  1. I couldn't sleep last night. I was awake all night long.

  2. I usually try to sleep for at least eight hours every night.

  3. Did you sleep soundly last night?

  4. We were sleeping peacefully when a sudden loud noise woke us up.

  5. I can never sleep on airplanes.

  6. The tent sleeps five adults.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of sleep

before 12th century

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up sleep? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 14, 2016

to hug and kiss another person

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