\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

Down a sleepy lane in Ba Đình, Reng Reng Cafe is a whisper-quiet, no-Wi-Fi café that wouldn’t be out of place in Tokyo. Peter Jon Lindberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "Hanoi, Time and Again," 20 Nov. 2018 In 2015, the couple took over a kitschy poultry restaurant in a sleepy corner of town. Jay Cheshes, WSJ, "The Most Innovative Chefs in Lyon, France’s Gastronomic Capital," 24 July 2018 Silicon Fen,’ envisioning the once sleepy outskirts of Cambridge as Britain’s answer to Silicon Valley. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Republican candidates in key Senate races struggle with Trump tariffs," 5 July 2018 In the most recent episode of Riverdale, viewers got to see the sleepy town with pep through the eyes of the parents as young high schoolers — Alice, FP, Fred, Hermione, Penelope, and even Hiram Lodge. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Was Young Hiram Lodge Actor Michael Consuelos's First Audition Ever," 8 Nov. 2018 The attorney general race is usually sleepy, but this one has been shaken up by allegations that Democratic candidate and US Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) abused his ex-girlfriend. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Live results for Minnesota primary elections," 14 Aug. 2018 The two primaries were sleepy Tuesday, but will be among the nation's most important battlegrounds in November. Eric Bradner, CNN, "Another Trump critic falls and 5 other things we learned from Tuesday's primaries," 13 June 2018 People say #Cannes2018 party circuit is sleepy but that was def not case @ #WomenInMotion. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Cannes: Inside Kering's Women in Motion Awards With Singing Salma Hayek, Dancing Agnes Varda," 14 May 2018 But overall, the String Sextet in B Flat Major, Opus 18 was rather sleepy. Peter Dobrin,, "Pamela Frank, Jaime Laredo wallow in Brahms for friends and family," 12 May 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

3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for sleepy

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

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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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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 move with a clumsy heavy tread

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