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

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

Welcome to Thanksgiving—a holiday marked by overeating, all-too-inquisitive uncles, and catching up on a year’s worth of sleep. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "A Guide to Thanksgiving Beauty Etiquette: From Casually Impressing Old Classmates to Winning Over Parents," 22 Nov. 2018 Leveling blocks: Nothing ruins a night of sleep quite like rolling downhill, so check out the Camco FasTen leveling blocks ($29.46 for a pack of 10). Megan Barber, Curbed, "The ultimate van life shopping guide," 14 Nov. 2018 Some hold questions of cause and effect at arm’s length, while others dive right in with claims about sleep habits causing cancer. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Being a morning person might have some health advantages," 12 Nov. 2018 Studies were also cited that claim that switching clocks had the effect of increasing instances of heart attacks and the potential for workplace injury (mostly as a result of the loss of sleep). Dani Deahl, The Verge, "California moves toward permanent daylight saving time," 7 Nov. 2018 Musk and fellow business mogul Arianna Huffington got into a public spat over his sleep habits. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Elon Musk’s not taking Tesla private after all," 25 Aug. 2018 Lack of sleep has made her short-tempered, said the retired editor with the U.S. Geological Survey. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "For some in Anchorage, it’s been the summer of airplane noise. But just wait until next year.," 10 July 2018 Instead, Pompeo spent most of his time in meetings with his counterpart negotiator, Kim Yong Chol, a former spy chief who had lightheartedly teased him about his sleep habits. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "No, Pompeo did not give Kim Jong Un a ‘Rocket Man’ CD, State Department says," 7 July 2018 Keepers like Kruger were working overtime, sometimes getting just a couple of hours of sleep. Lainey Seyler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Keepers at Milwaukee County Zoo worked 24/7 to care for baby gorilla after its parents died," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Work, eat, sleep, repeat RDR II begins with a desperate trek through a late-spring blizzard. Daniel Starkey, Ars Technica, "Red Dead Redemption II review: Getting muddy in the wide-open frontier," 25 Oct. 2018 But now, guests can actually sleep at the abode, which can accommodate a family of six. Diana Bruk, Country Living, "You Can Now Stay Overnight in the 'Christmas Story' House," 14 Aug. 2018 First-year coach James Thornton can sleep well at night and not fret about those two positions. Blake Baumgartner, Naperville Sun, "Middle men: Nick Taylor and Nolan Clifford answer call but Neuqua Valley loses in eight innings," 13 July 2018 Share a room For the first six to 12 months, your baby may sleep better in the same room as you. Mary Caldwell, ajc, "Baby sleep: 7 tips for surviving the first few months," 12 July 2018 The latter group slept on average about two hours longer per week and woke up about two times fewer per week. Ashley Welch, CBS News, "Why breastfeeding is the "gold standard" for babies' health," 10 July 2018 The new Road Chief 26 has room for four campers to sleep thanks to an extra two feet of length. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Aluminum trailer combines ‘30s style with modern amenities," 6 Nov. 2018 Burned by the relentless heat and the night’s chill, eating badly and sleeping rough, many appeared to be developing respiratory symptoms. Mark Stevenson, The Seattle Times, "Weary migrants still far reaching US border," 23 Oct. 2018 But the mission team put the observatory to sleep less than a month later after noticing that Kepler's pointing ability had degraded. Mike Wall, Space.com, "NASA's Kepler Planet-Hunting Space Telescope Wakes Up Again," 13 Oct. 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

30 Nov 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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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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