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


dozer, slumberer

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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

Casper’s line of foam beds provide great pressure relief and support to a range of sleepers. Samantha Gordon, USA TODAY, "The 7 best deals you can get this Saturday," 6 July 2019 Some people are lighter sleepers than others, so the intensity of stimuli should be tailored to the specific threshold at which each individual wakes up. Achilleas Pavlou, Quartz, "A lucid dream researcher’s tips for controlling your dreams," 29 June 2019 But remember, these models could actually be less comfortable on the body of a restless sleeper, as there's little forgiveness against one's movements. Amy Roberts, Good Housekeeping, "The Definitive Guide to Buying a Mattress," 14 Nov. 2018 Alligators are unihemispheric sleepers, meaning when one part of the brain is asleep, the other is awake. Kathleen Christiansen,, "Gatorland guide shares facts during Trainer-for-a-Day tour," 25 June 2019 Lights sprang on in every block in Highland Park as the sound of sirens awoke the sleepers, and within a few minutes there were people up in almost every block in North Dallas. Dallas News, "D-Day as Dallas lived it," 6 June 2019 After Baumann left, Leitsch sat down on a magenta sleeper sofa. Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker, "Dick Leitsch’s Guide to Seventies Gay Slang," 23 Apr. 2018 Succession was the sleeper hit of the summer last year, surprising audiences with its wry depiction of a media family comprised of ambitious, terrible people. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Succession Season 2: Everything We Know," 14 June 2019 The Consumer Product Safety Commission had been examining the safety of inclined sleepers for at least a year before the Fisher-Price recall. Todd C. Frankel, Washington Post, "Lawmakers introduce bills to ban inclined sleepers," 12 June 2019

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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Statistics for sleeper

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sleeper

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on sleeper

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sleeper

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sleeper

Spanish Central: Translation of sleeper

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

Comments on sleeper

What made you want to look up sleeper? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

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