over·​sleep | \ ˌō-vər-ˈslēp How to pronounce oversleep (audio) \
overslept\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈslept How to pronounce oversleep (audio) \; oversleeping

Definition of oversleep

intransitive verb

: to sleep beyond the time for waking

transitive verb

: to allow (oneself) to oversleep

Examples of oversleep in a Sentence

Be sure to set your alarm clock so that you don't oversleep.
Recent Examples on the Web After oversleeping and missing his bus to school, a Michigan teen was almost killed by a trigger-happy homeowner while trying to ask for directions. Paula Rogo, Essence.com, "White Homeowner Almost Kills Black Teen Who Knocked On His Door To Ask For Directions," 14 Apr. 2018 Adding to the drama, on the last day of the trial, one of the jurors overslept by an hour and finally woke to find many messages from the court on his phone. Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stingl: Honest, mom who went into labor was not trying to get out of jury duty," 9 Jan. 2018 Among the most typical excuses were traffic (51 percent), oversleeping (31 percent), the weather (28 percent) and - my favorite - just being too tired to get out of bed (23 percent). Gene Marks, chicagotribune.com, "The boss has heard them all: The craziest late-to-work excuses," 27 Mar. 2018 Among the more typical excuses as to why employees are late to work: traffic (51 percent), oversleeping (31 percent), bad weather (28 percent), too tired to get out of bed (23 percent) and forgetting something (13 percent). Marcia Heroux Pounds, Sun-Sentinel.com, "My dog ate my schedule? Workers give bizarre excuses for being late, according to CareerBuilder survey," 22 Mar. 2018 Auburn was his dream school, but the Tigers overslept in the major phase of his recruiting. Jeff Sentell, ajc, "The untold recruiting story of how UGA held on to legendary RB Garrison Hearst," 30 Aug. 2017 Last year, he was sent back to his junior team after oversleeping on the first day of training camp. Allan Kreda, New York Times, "Islanders, Preparing for Second Season in Brooklyn, Have Lots of Fresh Faces," 27 Sep. 2016

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

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First Known Use of oversleep

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Time Traveler for oversleep

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The first known use of oversleep was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Oversleep.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oversleep. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for oversleep



English Language Learners Definition of oversleep

: to sleep past the time when you planned to get up


over·​sleep | \ ˌō-vər-ˈslēp How to pronounce oversleep (audio) \
overslept\ -​ˈslept \; oversleeping

Kids Definition of oversleep

: to sleep beyond the usual time or beyond the time set for getting up

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