\ ə-ˈslēp How to pronounce asleep (audio) \

Definition of asleep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : being in a state of sleep
2 : dead
3 : lacking sensation : numb
b : not alert : indifferent



Definition of asleep (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : into a state of sleep
2 : into the sleep of death
3 : into a state of inactivity, sluggishness, or indifference

Synonyms & Antonyms for asleep

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of asleep in a Sentence

Adjective “Are you asleep?” “No, I'm awake.” He tries to clean up the house while the kids are asleep. The cats are asleep on the floor. She was still asleep at noon.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In Whitesburg, in Letcher County, floodwaters surged quickly on Thursday morning while many people were still asleep, said Andy Morrell, a 45-year-old resident. Alyssa Lukpat, WSJ, 29 July 2022 Pfizer and BioNTech’s announcement Wednesday morning is evidence that the giants aren’t necessarily asleep. Matthew Herper, STAT, 28 July 2022 The legendary singer says music saved her from a violent father in Timmins, Ont., but that her mother fully supported her dreams, taking her to local bars to sing when her father was asleep. Marianne Garvey, CNN, 27 July 2022 According to the arrest affidavit obtained by Fox 35 Orlando, the 12-year-old victim was asleep when she was awakened by her father, Bravo-Torres, reaching for her throat. Sarah Rumpf, Fox News, 23 July 2022 The person said the children were asleep in car and Kyle advised his phone was going to lose battery power. Jake Allen, The Indianapolis Star, 14 July 2022 All three men were asleep at the time of the attacks. Teddy Grant, ABC News, 12 July 2022 In the scene, the children have been eating a lot and are asleep in the rooms. Erik Morse, Vogue, 9 July 2022 In another, a daughter is asleep, sprawled across her mother’s legs. Richard Sandomir,, 8 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The medication both helped the Critics’ Choice Movie Award winner fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and wake up more alert. Elizabeth Ayoola, Essence, 14 July 2022 For astronomers, being here on the cusp of a bold new understanding of things is like trying to fall asleep the night before Christmas. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 8 July 2022 The lounge is also where Boram brings in pediatricians, physical therapists and mental health experts offering general seminars on topics including pelvic floor therapy and how to fall asleep more quickly. New York Times, 1 June 2022 Babies, not to say bad boys, would fall asleep back there, their nodding heads tipped over by the great weight of baby helmets covered in the spikes of a stegosaurus, poking into my back. The New Yorker, 23 May 2022 Some people can plop into bed and fall asleep instantly, but others are a little more particular—about temperature, about softness, about everything. Glamour, 16 Mar. 2022 The singer, 42, teamed up with the app to record three stories featuring the soothing sound of her voice to help families fall asleep faster. Anya Leon,, 23 Feb. 2022 Ever wanted to fall asleep any time, anywhere on command? Taylyn Washington-harmon, Men's Health, 28 Jan. 2022 After the in-flight meal, a passenger fell asleep next to her — maskless. Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'asleep.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of asleep


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for asleep


Middle English aslepe, from Old English on slæpe

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Time Traveler for asleep

Time Traveler

The first known use of asleep was in the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near asleep

as late as


a slice of life

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Statistics for asleep

Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Asleep.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for asleep


\ ə-ˈslēp How to pronounce asleep (audio) \

Kids Definition of asleep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : being in a state of sleep
2 : having no feeling My foot is asleep.



Kids Definition of asleep (Entry 2 of 2)

: into a state of sleep I fell asleep during the movie.


\ ə-ˈslēp How to pronounce asleep (audio) \

Medical Definition of asleep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : being in a state of sleep
2 : lacking sensation : numb



Medical Definition of asleep (Entry 2 of 2)

: into a state of sleep

More from Merriam-Webster on asleep

Nglish: Translation of asleep for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of asleep for Arabic Speakers


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