hypnagogic

adjective hyp·na·go·gic \ ˌhip-nə-ˈgä-jik , -ˈgō- \
variants: or less commonly hypnogogic

Definition of hypnagogic

: of, relating to, or occurring in the period of drowsiness immediately preceding sleep
  • hypnagogic hallucinations

hypnagogic was our Word of the Day on 05/20/2012. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

The hypnagogic state is that heady lull between wakefulness and sleep when thoughts and images flutter, melt, and transform into wild things, wrote Boston Globe correspondent Cate McQuaid (October 1, 1998). Some scientists have attributed alien-abduction stories to this state, but for most people these "half-dreams" are entirely innocuous. Perhaps the most famous hypnagogic dream is that of the German chemist Friedrich August Kekule von Stradonitz, who was inspired with the concept of the benzene ring by a vision of a snake biting its own tail. You're not dreaming if the Greek root hypn-, meaning "sleep," seems familiar - you've seen it in "hypnotize." The root "-agogic" is from the Greek -agōgos, meaning "inducing," from agein meaning "to lead." We borrowed "hypnagogic" (also spelled "hypnogogic") from French hypnagogique in the late 19th century.

Origin and Etymology of hypnagogic

French hypnagogique, from Greek hypn- + -agōgos leading, inducing, from agein to lead — more at agent


Medical Dictionary

hypnagogic

adjective hyp·na·go·gic
variants: also hypnogogic play \ˌhip-nə-ˈgäj-ik, -ˈgō-jik\

medical Definition of hypnagogic

: of, relating to, or occurring in the period of drowsiness immediately preceding sleep
  • hypnagogic hallucinations
— compare hypnopompic

hypnagogically

play \-ji-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Learn More about hypnagogic


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