sleep

noun
\ˈslēp \

Definition of sleep 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

2 : a state resembling sleep: such as

a : a state of torpid inactivity

b : death put a pet cat to sleep also : trance, coma

c : the closing of leaves or petals especially at night

d : 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

3a : a period spent sleeping

b : night

c : a day's journey

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

sleep

verb
slept\ˈslept \; sleeping

Definition of sleep (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to rest in a state of sleep

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

3 : to have sexual relations usually used with with

transitive verb

1 : to be slumbering in slept the sleep of the dead

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

3 : to provide sleeping accommodations for the boat sleeps six

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Other Words from sleep

Noun

sleeplike \ˈslēp-ˌlīk \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for sleep

Synonyms: Noun

curtains, death, decease, demise, dissolution, doom, end, exit, expiration, fate, grave, great divide, passage, passing, quietus

Synonyms: Verb

catnap, doze, nap, rest, slumber, snooze

Antonyms: Noun

birth, nativity

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Examples of sleep in a Sentence

Noun

I just need to get some sleep. How much sleep did you get last night? Her roommate talks in her sleep. The noise woke her from a deep sleep. He woke up and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes.

Verb

I couldn't sleep last night. I was awake all night long. I usually try to sleep for at least eight hours every night. Did you sleep soundly last night? We were sleeping peacefully when a sudden loud noise woke us up. I can never sleep on airplanes. The tent sleeps five adults.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Adjust their sleep schedule by moving their bedtime closer to their school bedtime the week before school begins. Mary Caldwell, ajc, "6 tips to help get your kid in back-to-school mode," 12 July 2018 In the novel’s second half, Moshfegh’s tighter formal approach parallel’s the narrator’s more rigorous sleep schedule. Walton Muyumba, latimes.com, "Detachment and dreaming in 'My Year of Rest and Relaxation' by Ottessa Moshfegh," 12 July 2018 The Oak Grove, Minnesota 15-year-old was lying in his bed trying to go to sleep while the thunder raged outside his cabin. Scott Berson, miamiherald, "Teen was trying to sleep when lightning hit his bed - and set it on fire," 3 July 2018 Soccer fans in Phoenix might need to make a few adjustments to their sleep schedules for the next month. Elizabeth Backo, azcentral, "13 places to watch the 2018 World Cup in metro Phoenix," 12 June 2018 But all the juggling of schedules, work and her kid’s needs also takes a toll on her; her sleep schedule is always changing, and so are the day's to-do lists. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "An active family, an odd work schedule leaves Mom with no workout routine," 12 June 2018 Plus, now that Ramadan falls during the summer months, many of us are balancing work, school, social lives, a crazy upside-down sleep schedule, and going without water during the hottest days of the year (the lack-of-water struggle is real). refinery29.com, "10 Things People Always Seem To Get Wrong About Ramadan," 18 May 2018 Parents should also be on the lookout for changes in a child’s sleep schedule, appetite, or hobbies. Amanda Macmillan, Health.com, "Suicide Attempts Have Risen Among Kids and Teens. Here's What Parents Need to Know," 16 May 2018 The idea of looking into cancer came from study co-senior author Fahed Hakim, who directs the EMMS Nazareth Hospital and works as a pediatric pulmonologist and sleep specialist at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel. Esther Landhuis, Scientific American, "Could Brain Stimulation Slow Cancer?," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In Claire's Camera, Kim plays the employee of a film distribution company who loses her job when her female boss finds out she's slept with the boss's filmmaker boyfriend. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Hong Sang-soo and Kim Min-hee's real-life affair yields a trio of films about infidelity," 12 July 2018 Warren Beatty, effectively, ends up sleeping with her, and Carrie has to use the F-word to him. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Carrie Fisher's brother Todd details their tense last conversation," 10 July 2018 Their fractured friendship, the result of Ruth sleeping with Mark in the show's first season, is the heart of this second batch of episodes. Bonnie Stiernberg, Glamour, "If Betty Gilpin Doesn't Get an Emmy for GLOW, It's a Crime," 6 July 2018 No, don't go there, don't sleep with an 18-year-old! Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Sharp Objects': Jean-Marc Vallee on Anti-Heroes, Amy Adams and the Battle He Waged (and Lost)," 5 July 2018 The man was sleeping with loaded guns under his pillows and hiding guns in drawers, and his daughter worried for the safety of his home health aides. Jonel Aleccia And Melissa Bailey, USA TODAY, "Unlocked and loaded: Families confront dementia and guns," 1 July 2018 There would be no time slots and no channels, no waiting until next week to see whom the Lannisters betray or the Good Wife sleeps with. The Economist, "Netflix is moving television beyond time-slots and national markets," 28 June 2018 At a shelter in McAllen, Texas, as word spread that children were being pulled from their parents, some mothers and fathers took to sleeping with their legs wrapped around their children so they couldn't be snatched. Maria Sacchetti, chicagotribune.com, "'It really wears on the kids': Separated migrant children are all over the country," 24 June 2018 Ducks can also sleep with one eye open and alert to danger. Amy Raudenbush, Philly.com, "Calling all kids! Draw this cute duck for a chance to see your artwork published," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sleep.' 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 sleep

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for sleep

Noun

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

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Statistics for sleep

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sleep

The first known use of sleep was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for sleep

sleep

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sleep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

sleep

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sleep (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

sleep

verb
\ˈslēp \
slept\ˈslept \; sleeping

Kids Definition of sleep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to rest with eyes closed in a temporary state of inactivity : be or lie in a state of sleep The baby is sleeping.

sleep

noun

Kids Definition of sleep (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a natural temporary state of rest during which an individual becomes physically inactive and unaware of the surrounding environment and many bodily functions (as breathing) slow

2 : an inactive state (as hibernation) like true sleep

3 : death sense 3 The sick pet was put to sleep.

Other Words from sleep

sleepless \-ləs \ adjective
sleeplessness noun

sleep

noun
\ˈslēp \

Medical Definition of sleep 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

2 : a state resembling sleep: as

a : death sense 1 put a pet cat to sleep

b : a state marked by a diminution of feeling followed by tingling her foot went to sleep

slept\ˈslept \; sleeping

Medical Definition of sleep (Entry 2 of 2)

: to rest in a state of sleep

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Comments on sleep

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