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

Teenagers need about eight to 10 hours of sleep each night, but few get it. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Why Schools Should Start Later and Teens Should Sleep More," 4 Jan. 2019 Teenagers need a lot of sleep, but for all of us, waking up early requires a substantial amount of willpower. Dan Ariely, WSJ, "Breaking the Snooze-Button Habit," 5 Dec. 2018 Avoid becoming part of that statistic by going to bed an hour earlier than usual the night before your trip (seven or more hours of sleep is ideal). Brigitt Earley, Woman's Day, "6 Ways to Stay Safe on Your Next Family Road Trip," 29 Nov. 2018 Frustrated when your digestive system has no regard for your need for long, unbroken stretches of sleep? Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "BREAKING: Mystery of Square Wombat Poop Revealed," 20 Nov. 2018 Naturally, many brands have created products to make the lives of new parents easier, and potentially even add a few more hours of sleep to their schedule. Allure, "The Best Gifts for New Parents That They Won't Regift," 1 Nov. 2018 Stress and lack of sleep can certainly lead to breakouts and exacerbate existing skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Kiernan Shipka Shared Her Natural Beauty Skin-care Routine," 17 Oct. 2018 Children age 3-5 need about 10-13 hours of sleep a day, including naps. Mary Caldwell, ajc, "Parent's survival guide to preschool," 10 July 2018 Prince William turns 36 on Thursday, and an extra hour or two of sleep is probably at the top of his birthday wish list! Maura Hohman, PEOPLE.com, "9 Times Prince William Perfectly Described the Ups and Downs of Fatherhood," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Machnikowski took a knife from a kitchen block and then entered the bedroom of the girl’s parents and attacked the sleeping couple. Clifford Ward, Naperville Sun, "Naperville man pleads guilty to attempted murder in attack on couple whose daughter, he claimed, criticized his looks at party," 29 June 2018 The interior features all of Outside Van’s standard amenities (a marine grade floor, custom wheel tub boxes, full insulation, wall and ceiling paneling, and LED lighting), and two people can sleep on the three-panel bed. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Camper van with skylights lives large in 100 square feet," 17 Dec. 2018 Forty-five minutes into our walk-through and Lo, Eaton’s 36-year-old founder and president, whose father is executive chairman of the Langham Hospitality Group, still hasn’t mentioned where the guests will sleep. Vogue, "Lobby Hero: Katherine Lo's New Hotel Touts Progressive Politics, Down the Street from the Trump International," 20 July 2018 His acolytes cooked food and did laundry and cut his meat and competed for the most coveted space in Pacquiao’s orbit—the foot of his bed, where the person most in Pacquiao’s good graces slept each night. Greg Bishop, SI.com, "In Search of a Happy Ending to Boxing Career, Manny Pacquiao Is Following a Familiar, Sad Trajectory Instead," 12 July 2018 As with the Fitzgerald, the impact site included berthing spaces, where sailors sleep. Jasmine Khayami And Elizabeth Strassner, USA TODAY, "Collisions reveal a Navy tragically undone by its can-do spirit," 25 June 2018 Others were forced into a large grass house where animals usually slept. Will Feuer, Philly.com, "He was a child soldier. Now he's hoping to earn a Master's from Emory, and some Haddonfield students are here to help," 24 June 2018 In May 2012, Blue Island’s fire chief ordered the program’s 73 occupants be evicted because the facility did not comply with a local ordinance that said sprinklers were needed in rooms where program participants slept. Ted Slowik, Daily Southtown, "Former Blue Island boarding school now a live-in recovery center for addicts with clinic, library and classrooms," 23 June 2018 The wrist monitors revealed that all of the students slept more — a median of 34 minutes more per night — after the start time changed. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Why we might want the school day to start later," 12 Dec. 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

12 Jan 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

: 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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