\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sleepy

sleepily \ ˈslē-​pə-​lē \ adverb
sleepiness \ ˈslē-​pē-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for sleepy


dozy, drowsy, slumberous (or slumbrous), somnolent


alert, awake, conscious, wakeful, wide-awake

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

But the chat was perhaps a little sleepier than hosts Larry Emdur and Kylie Gillies expected. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Um, Did Michael Bolton Just Fall Asleep on Live TV?," 6 Feb. 2019 The shallows seem too warm and sleepy to bother raising a wave. Horatio Clare, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why You Should Go to Belize Now," 21 Dec. 2018 The sleepy part is really just a side effect listed on the box. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How Bad Is It to Take an Antihistamine to Sleep Every Night?," 13 Dec. 2018 Enter a sleepy or uncrowded market, develop a product with millennial-friendly branding, and then raise millions of dollars in funding from venture capital firms. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "When the “best” busts: the spectacular rise and fall of smart luggage startup Raden," 12 Dec. 2018 The students also reported feeling less sleepy and more alert. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Why we might want the school day to start later," 12 Dec. 2018 Some, if not most of my favorite outfits have come together in a sleepy daze on a Friday morning. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "The Item I Wear To Death: My Duro Olowu Silk Cuffed Pants," 17 Oct. 2018 This once sleepy spot has emerged as a game-changing cultural center. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Next Great Food Scene, Beach Town, and More: The 2019 Trends We're Calling Now," 18 Dec. 2018 At the same time, its once-sleepy downtown now bustles with commerce. Michael Candelaria,, "Sanford Neighborhood Guide," 21 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of sleepy

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sleepy

Statistics for sleepy

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sleepy

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!