sleep

noun
\ ˈslēp How to pronounce sleep (audio) \

Definition of sleep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the natural, easily reversible periodic state of many living things that is marked by the absence of wakefulness and by the loss of consciousness of one's surroundings, is accompanied by a typical body posture (such as lying down with the eyes closed), the occurrence of dreaming, and changes in brain activity and physiological functioning, is made up of cycles of non-REM sleep and REM sleep, and is usually considered essential to the restoration and recovery of vital bodily and mental functions
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 How to pronounce sleep (audio) \; 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 How to pronounce sleep (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for sleep

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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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 He is showered by Brooke and wears a ventilator at night to allow his body to get restful sleep as the device breathes for him. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, 11 June 2021 Exercise can also help you to get high-quality sleep at night. Stephanie Mansour, CNN, 9 June 2021 Given the rigors of filming during a pandemic—and the heavy subject material—Gish has mastered the art of a self-care routine that focuses on getting enough sleep and using natural products that target her skin-care needs. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, 4 June 2021 On bad weekends, Lydia would spend the night with her daughter to comfort her, then cancel morning plans to get a little sleep. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, 4 June 2021 The easiest way to lose focus is being sleep deprived. Expert Panel, Forbes, 1 June 2021 In an editorial, The New York Times said, in effect, McNamara should never be forgiven and should never have a restful night’s sleep. Peter Osnos, Time, 1 June 2021 These interventions include being physically active; getting enough sleep; refraining from smoking and excessive alcohol consumption; having a strong social network; and managing blood pressure, depression, diabetes, and weight. Diane Ty, STAT, 23 May 2021 Verishop has soothing sound machines, comforting weighted blankets and other items to quiet obstacles to a peaceful night’s sleep. oregonlive, 6 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb An encampment can only be cleared if people are offered an indoor place to sleep. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 June 2021 As these events return, visitors will need a place to sleep. Malak Silmi, San Antonio Express-News, 8 June 2021 But for the pair, the most difficult part is finding the right place to sleep. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, 22 May 2021 Volk said the coalition estimates that every night 20,000 people in Wisconsin have no adequate place to sleep. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 21 May 2021 Volk said the coalition estimates that every night there are 20,000 people in Wisconsin with no adequate place to sleep. Scott Bauer, Star Tribune, 20 May 2021 Not enough has been done to help people struggling to find a safe place to sleep. John Canzano, oregonlive, 12 May 2021 Homelessness is a contested issue in the state capital, and critics argued that the proposal to ban camping didn’t offer alternatives to people with no place to sleep. BostonGlobe.com, 2 May 2021 Homelessness is a contested issue in the state capital, and critics argued that the proposal to ban camping didn’t offer alternatives to people with no place to sleep. New York Times, 1 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for sleep

Time Traveler

The first known use of sleep was before the 12th century

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Statistics for sleep

Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sleep.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sleep. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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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
informal : 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 How to pronounce sleep (audio) \
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 How to pronounce sleep (audio) \

Medical Definition of sleep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the natural, easily reversible, periodic state of many living things that is marked by the absence of wakefulness and by the loss of consciousness of one's surroundings, is accompanied by a typical body posture (as lying down with the eyes closed), the occurrence of dreaming, and changes in brain activity and physiological functioning, is made up of cycles of non-REM sleep and REM sleep, and is usually considered essential to the restoration and recovery of vital bodily and mental functions
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

sleep

intransitive verb
slept\ ˈslept How to pronounce sleep (audio) \; sleeping

Medical Definition of sleep (Entry 2 of 2)

: to rest in a state of sleep

More from Merriam-Webster on sleep

Nglish: Translation of sleep for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sleep for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sleep

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