sleep·​er | \ ˈslē-pər How to pronounce sleeper (audio) \

Definition of sleeper

1 : one that sleeps
2 : a piece of timber, stone, or steel on or near the ground to support a superstructure, keep railroad rails in place, or receive floor joists : stringpiece
4 : someone or something unpromising or unnoticed that suddenly attains prominence or value the low-budget film became the summer's sleeper
5 : children's pajamas usually with feet usually used in plural
6 chiefly British : a small earring or stud worn to keep the hole of a pierced ear from closing

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Synonyms for sleeper


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Examples of sleeper in a Sentence

Sleepers were awakened by the sound of a loud crash. He may turn out to be the sleeper in this year's election. The movie was the summer's sleeper. The movie became the sleeper hit of the summer.
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Recent Examples on the Web SportsDay contributor John Owning highlighted Fehoko as a potential late-round sleeper for the Cowboys. Dallas News, "Cowboys select Stanford WR Simi Fehoko at No. 179 in NFL draft," 1 May 2021 Keller said because the company manufactured sleeper sofas, the beds were pulled out and used as temporary hospital beds until an ambulance could transport the survivors to the hospital. Suzanne Baker,, "Two trains, one tragedy: Remembering the deadly wreck that shook Naperville 75 years ago," 24 Apr. 2021 For the home office-guest room combo, Elliott and Ward-Woods turn to wall beds and sleeper sofas. Jessica Dailey, ELLE Decor, "The Secrets to a High-Functioning “Does It All” Room," 23 Apr. 2021 In Marvel lore, Contessa is eventually revealed to be a Russian sleeper agent for the terrorist group Leviathan, and she becomes known by the alias Madame Hydra. Nick Romano,, "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," 19 Apr. 2021 Madame Hydra turned out to be a Russian sleeper agent, and that might explain the character’s connection to Black Widow. Chris Smith, BGR, "Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s shocking cameo will also appear in this new Marvel movie," 17 Apr. 2021 My sleeper pick for a holiday that roars back after the pandemic better than ever is Patriots Day., "HomeFront: Kate Winslet in uniform, Mark Sandman’s ‘secret band,’ plus a rising quilt star," 15 Apr. 2021 Adjustable headrests provide customizable comfort, and a foam sleeper pulls out from underneath to turn for a large sleeping area. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "Convertible Furniture Is the Space-Saving Trend That Will Level-Up Your Home," 13 Apr. 2021 The sleeper hit movie of the 2019 holiday season, Downton Abbey, based on the series of the same name, is getting a sequel, aptly called Downton Abbey 2. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Downton Abbey 2: Everything We Know So Far," 19 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sleeper.' 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 sleeper

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for sleeper

Time Traveler

The first known use of sleeper was in the 12th century

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Statistics for sleeper

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sleeper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for sleeper



English Language Learners Definition of sleeper

: a person who sleeps in a particular way
: someone who is asleep
: a place or piece of furniture that can be used for sleeping


sleep·​er | \ ˈslē-pər How to pronounce sleeper (audio) \

Kids Definition of sleeper

1 : someone that sleeps I'm a light sleeper.
2 : a railroad car with berths for sleeping

More from Merriam-Webster on sleeper

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Nglish: Translation of sleeper for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sleeper

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