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

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 Then, the worshippers perform morning prayers, go to sleep, and wake up around noon. Maija Liuhto, Longreads, "A Music So Beautiful the Birds Fell from the Trees," 28 June 2018 Or hit a joint and then play one of my motivational YouTube videos and lay down and go to sleep. Marie Claire, "Tiffany Haddish's Bucket List Includes a Date with Michael B. Jordan and a Fried Chicken Dinner with Michelle Obama," 5 June 2018 Ambien is a sedative-hypnotic drug that works by slowing down brain activity so that people can go to sleep, according to MedlinePlus. refinery29.com, "No, Ambien Does Not Cause Racism," 30 May 2018 That prevents them from getting deep, restorative sleep. Washington Post, "New ways to conquer sleep apnea compete for place in bedroom," 12 July 2018 The team can hopefully get some sleep, but the project is not over. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "'ICE Is Everywhere': Using Library Science to Map the Separation Crisis," 25 June 2018 The Gorilla Foundation said the 280-pound (127-kilogram) western lowland gorilla died in her sleep at the foundation's preserve in California's Santa Cruz mountains Tuesday. Bloomberg.com, "Koko the Gorilla Used Smarts, Empathy to Help Change Views," 21 June 2018 My grandpa was in the hospital 24/7 and was not getting much sleep. Abigail Van Buren, Houston Chronicle, "Couple planning a family disagree about adoption," 17 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And while guidance from pediatricians remains that babies should be exclusively breastfed until six months, a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that feeding solid food to babies at an earlier age may help them sleep better. Ashley Welch, CBS News, "Why breastfeeding is the "gold standard" for babies' health," 10 July 2018 Earlier this week, Joanna gave followers a glimpse at Crew sleeping soundly in his stylish nursery, while Chip revealed another new addition to their farm family: six baby pigs that were born soon after Crew arrived. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Joanna Gaines Just Shared New Photo of Baby Crew With His Sisters and Our Hearts Can’t Take It," 3 July 2018 Walk along the waterfront Bund and gaze across the Huangpu River to see the future—the towering skyscrapers and dazzling lights of the Pudong financial district, where 21st-century money never sleeps. Maura Elizabeth Cunningham, WSJ, "‘City of Devils’ Review: Chicago on the Huangpu," 13 July 2018 Having exhausted Paris, these characters who never sleep move on to London, where Rebecca Ferguson's former MI6 agent from Rogue Nation, Ilsa Faust, steps more to the fore, with intentions that muddy the waters even further. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mission: Impossible — Fallout': Film Review," 12 July 2018 The researchers found that babies who began eating solid foods at 3 months woke less frequently and slept for longer durations than the babies who started eating at 6 months. Taylor Seely, USA TODAY, "Want your baby to sleep better? Feed them solid food sooner, a study suggests," 11 July 2018 The 10-by-24-foot wood structure has insulated panels, a kerosene stove, an outhouse and a big loft that can easily sleep between 10 and 12 people, Hinds said. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "A new hut with dramatic views rose up this summer in Alaska’s Hatcher Pass backcountry," 8 July 2018 The hope is that marquee free agent John Tavares, who grew up in nearby Mississauga, Ontario, sleeping on Maple Leafs bedding as a boy, can break the curse. Christopher L. Gasper, BostonGlobe.com, "The Lions in the Super Bowl, a .400 hitter in a season, and other sports dreams I’d like to see become reality," 14 July 2018 Those who really believed in the powers of the orgone box/egg also slept on pendulum beds under different colored lights (blue, green) in order to absorb extra stimulated energy. refinery29.com, "Kylie Jenner, Crystals & Cults: Inside The Mysterious Orgonite Society," 13 July 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

21 Sep 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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