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

But the price of one little-prescribed sleep aid was raised by more than 700 percent. Robert Langreth And Cynthia Koons, BostonGlobe.com, "Many drugmakers ignore Trump — and raise prices anyway," 13 July 2018 There’s a lot of down time, really long nights, and a lot of sleep deprivation. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Bekah Martinez on "The Bachelor," Social Media Bullying, and Hair Secrets," 27 June 2018 The rest of those 226,000 steps are pure persistence, through blisters, foot and leg pain, chafing, indigestion, fatigue, sleep deprivation, and sometimes mild hallucinations. Brendan Leonard, Outside Online, "Advice for Leading a Successful Outdoor Life," 12 June 2018 The popular sleep aid does indeed often incur side effects: More than 10 percent of people who take the drug experience headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Roseanne’s flimsy defense for her racist tweet: Ambien," 30 May 2018 This past season, Clifford missed 21 games to address his health after suffering from the effects of sleep deprivation. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Who is Becky Hammon and does she have a shot at Bucks' coaching job?," 7 May 2018 And as her tumor markers continue to drop, Alysha and Ben have become focused on more typical baby issues, such as parental sleep deprivation. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, "Some people do better exercising at a low-intensity pace," 29 Apr. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But his impact on these musicians only accounts for part of the far-reaching legacy of Curtis, who died late Sunday afternoon while sleeping at his San Diego home. George Varga, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Lou Curtiss, a key mentor to Tom Waits, Jack Tempchin and other musicians, has died at 79," 10 July 2018 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

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

19 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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exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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