Rip van Winkle


Rip van Win·​kle ˌrip-(ˌ)van-ˈwiŋ-kəl How to pronounce Rip van Winkle (audio)
: a ne'er-do-well in a story in Washington Irving's Sketch Book who sleeps for 20 years

Examples of Rip van Winkle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the novel Roth’s alter ego has returned, like Rip van Winkle, to New York City from his secluded mountain redoubt. George Johnson, Discover Magazine, 19 Mar. 2013

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Rip van Winkle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1820, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Rip van Winkle was circa 1820

Dictionary Entries Near Rip van Winkle

Cite this Entry

“Rip van Winkle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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