\ˈslē-pē \
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 \ adverb
sleepiness \ˈslē-pē-nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for sleepy


dull, inactive, inert, lethargic, quiescent, sluggish, torpid



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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

Next Snyder brought out a screeching female barn owl, its flat white face appearing a little sleepy in the broad daylight. Washington Post, "Tourists experience the ancient sport of falconry," 11 June 2018 Is your bedroom nightstand looking a little sleepy? Joanna Linberg, Sunset, "11 Ways to Style a Nightstand," 22 Jan. 2018 While talking to the driver, who smelled like booze, the officer said the man appeared sleepy. John Benson,, "Drunk driver tells officer he's intoxicated: Broadview Heights Police Blotter," 28 Apr. 2017 Meanwhile, a library garnished with a Moroccan daybed and linen curtains only adds to the sleepy beachfront feels. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "Chic beach bungalow in Montauk is perfect for a summer weekend," 2 July 2018 Tucked away just a few short blocks from Ocean Beach on a sleepy stretch of Judah Street, Outerlands is one of those unicorn restaurants. Sarah Fritsche,, "Outerlands’ Salad With Burrata, Strawberries & Fennel," 29 June 2018 The only child of two earth-loving psychologists, Brandt was raised in the sleepy California coastal town of Muir Beach, north of San Francisco. Megan Michelson, Outside Online, "Kate Brandt Is Turning Google into a Green Powerhouse," 5 July 2018 The attacks Before there was Jaws, a fictional account of a killer shark that terrorized a sleepy beach town, there was reality at the Jersey Shore. Tommy Rowan,, "Irrational shark fear you can't escape at the Jersey Shore," 5 July 2018 The poisoning happened just seven miles from Salisbury, the sleepy British town where Sergei and Yulia Skripal fell ill in March. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "Two More Britons Poisoned by Nerve Agent Used on Ex-Spy," 5 July 2018

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

8 Oct 2018

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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 \
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 \
sleepier; sleepiest

Medical Definition of sleepy 

: ready to fall asleep

Other Words from sleepy

sleepiness \-pē-nəs \ noun

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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).


one that holds something together

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