\ ˈslē-pē How to pronounce sleepy (audio) \
sleepier; sleepiest

Definition of sleepy

1a : ready to fall asleep
b : of, relating to, or characteristic of sleep
2 : sluggish as if from sleep : lethargic also : having little activity a sleepy coastal village
3 : sleep-inducing

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Other Words from sleepy

sleepily \ ˈslē-​pə-​lē How to pronounce sleepily (audio) \ adverb
sleepiness \ ˈslē-​pē-​nəs How to pronounce sleepiness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for sleepy


dozy, drowsy, slumberous (or slumbrous), somnolent


alert, awake, conscious, wakeful, wide-awake

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Examples of sleepy in a Sentence

She felt sleepy and went to bed. the sleepy children were carried up to bed

Recent Examples on the Web

Some of these songs sound like nihilistic sing-alongs that mix glitchy drum programming and sleepy guitar parts. John Adamian,, "Emo-rapper Cold Hart to play the Space Ballroom," 23 Aug. 2019 Her most important paintings, especially the violent loops and sloshes from the months after Pollock’s death and the stormlike monochromes of the 1960s, have an authority that can survive even the sleepiest hang. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Lee Krasner, Hiding in Plain Sight," 19 Aug. 2019 In 1995, the airport was sleepy aviation field that offered mostly charter flights and flying lessons to fledgling pilots and handled about 50,000 passengers. Martin E. Comas,, "Sanford airport now offers bus shuttle service to Universal Orlando," 19 Aug. 2019 Having gained some 40 pounds for the role, Stallone indeed looks chunky and plays the sleepy, docile Sheriff Freddy Heflin with sluggishness to spare in a largely commendable performance as a half-deaf small-town dreamer. David Hunter, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Cop Land': THR's 1997 Review," 15 Aug. 2019 With six new businesses cropping up, the south side of Laguna Beach, a historically sleepier sister to the bustling downtown, is seeing unprecedented growth of shops and restaurants. Daily Pilot, "HIP District in Laguna Beach is becoming, well, more hip," 14 Aug. 2019 That decision — to block the opposition from participating — turned a sleepy municipal election into a political controversy that intensified amid police crackdowns against demonstrators and opposition figures. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The pro-democracy protests rocking Moscow, explained," 13 Aug. 2019 Bordeaux’s sleepy country cousin is known for what the Bordelaise call the douceur de vivre — the gentle way of life. David Lansing, Los Angeles Times, "In France, it’s city versus country on a jaunt through Bordeaux and the Dordogne," 10 Aug. 2019 Welcome to a sleepy time of year, when the heat drives everyone to lakes or oceans or pools and no one wants to do anything, really. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Hand-Crafted Bentleys, a Climate Bill, and More Car News This Week," 4 Aug. 2019

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for sleepy

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for sleepy

The first known use of sleepy was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for sleepy



English Language Learners Definition of sleepy

: tired and ready to fall asleep
: quiet and not active or busy


\ ˈslē-pē How to pronounce sleepy (audio) \
sleepier; sleepiest

Kids Definition of sleepy

1 : ready to fall asleep : drowsy
2 : not active, noisy, or busy a sleepy town

Other Words from sleepy

sleepiness noun


\ ˈslē-pē How to pronounce sleepy (audio) \
sleepier; sleepiest

Medical Definition of sleepy

: ready to fall asleep

Other Words from sleepy

sleepiness \ -​pē-​nəs How to pronounce sleepiness (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on sleepy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sleepy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sleepy

Spanish Central: Translation of sleepy

Nglish: Translation of sleepy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sleepy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sleepy

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


to spread over or through

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