sleep

noun
\ ˈslēp How to pronounce sleep (audio) \

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 How to pronounce slept (audio) \; 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 How to pronounce sleeplike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for sleep

Synonyms: Noun

bed, catnapping, dozing, napping, repose, rest, resting, shut-eye, slumber, slumbering, snoozing, z's (or zs)

Synonyms: Verb

catnap, doze, nap, rest, slumber, snooze

Antonyms: Noun

consciousness, wake, wakefulness

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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

The King, who retired to rest last night in his usual health, passed peacefully away in his sleep early this morning. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "For Queen Elizabeth, February 6th Has a Special—and Complicated—Meaning," 6 Feb. 2019 The news hit most U.S.-based Chelsea supporters in their sleep. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "The Premier League’s Latest Bet on America is Named Christian Pulisic," 3 Jan. 2019 The precious substance is said to relieve pain, prevent seizures, lower anxiety, and improve sleep. Kaitlyn Pirie, Woman's Day, "What Is CBD, and Why Is Everybody Talking About It?," 15 Feb. 2019 An expert on sleep discusses our internal clocks and whether they can be changed. Heidi Mitchell, WSJ, "Is It Healthy to Study in Bed?," 13 Feb. 2019 About $4,000 for a decade of peaceful sleep seems completely justifiable to me. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "Everything to Know Before Buying the Tempur-Pedic LuxeAdapt Mattress," 1 Feb. 2019 For a study published today in the journal Science Advances, scientists at the University of Washington monitored the sleep of students at Seattle high schools before and after their schools changed their start time to 8:45AM from 7:50AM. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Why we might want the school day to start later," 12 Dec. 2018 While creating settlements in Fallout 4 was a robust, creative experience, setting up camp in Fallout 76 is more of a means to an end; a mere place to stash your stuff, repair your weapons/armor, and sleep. Sarah Leboeuf, Ars Technica, "Two weeks in, Fallout 76 is a lonely, glitchy, flawed mess," 28 Nov. 2018 Some live in the overcrowded and heavily policed Roja Camp outside the town but many, fearful of the police presence, sleep under a flyover instead. Judith Vonberg, CNN, "French police seize SIM cards, cut soles from shoes of child migrants, report claims," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As much as Amazon wanted flashy new digs in the city that never sleeps, the long-term effects of spreading its largess and diversifying the locations of its talent pool could be manifold. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Why Amazon’s New York U-Turn Is Good for America’s Tech Economy," 16 Feb. 2019 The claims allege that many children remain traumatized even after being reunited with their parents, including a 7-year-old girl who won’t sleep without her mother and a 6-year-old boy who is reluctant to eat. Nomaan Merchant, The Seattle Times, "Separated migrant families demand millions from US agencies," 11 Feb. 2019 There is no precise starting elevation at which AMS symptoms may kick in, but the CDC notes that around 25 percent of visitors to Colorado who sleep at over 8,000 feet present with signs of this illness. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Exactly Is Altitude Sickness?," 20 Dec. 2018 It's set in New York City, because where better for vampires to thrive than the city that never sleeps? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Vampires navigate NYC in first teasers for What We Do in the Shadows," 1 Nov. 2018 Especially for those who typically sleep face-first into the pillow, protecting your eyes is a must (although stocking up on a silk pillowcase isn’t a bad idea either). Tanisha Pina, Allure, "The Best Eye Masks to Wear for More Restful Sleep," 7 Oct. 2018 This isn’t hard to do in the city that never sleeps. Hannah Miller, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Break Up With Your Phone," 4 Sep. 2018 This happens all day, every day with Bitler’s 290 cows, because robots never sleep. Jason Nark, Philly.com, "Down on the farm with the robots and drones," 5 July 2018 One mother now staying at the shelter, Miriam, said that Border Patrol agents woke her at a holding facility at dawn and told her to quickly dress her four-year-old son, who was sleeping. NBC News, "Feds failing to put migrant parents in touch with separated kids," 26 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

9 Mar 2019

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
informal : 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 How to pronounce sleep (audio) \
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 How to pronounce sleep (audio) \

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 How to pronounce slept (audio) \; sleeping

Medical Definition of sleep (Entry 2 of 2)

: to rest in a state of sleep

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More from Merriam-Webster on sleep

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sleep

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sleep

Spanish Central: Translation of sleep

Nglish: Translation of sleep for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sleep for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sleep

Comments on sleep

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