slum·​ber | \ ˈsləm-bər How to pronounce slumber (audio) \
slumbered; slumbering\ ˈsləm-​b(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce slumber (audio) \

Definition of slumber

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to sleep lightly : doze
b : sleep
2a : to be in a torpid, slothful, or negligent state
b : to lie dormant or latent



Definition of slumber (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : sleep
b : a light sleep

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from slumber


slumberer \ ˈsləm-​bər-​ər How to pronounce slumber (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for slumber

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of slumber in a Sentence

Verb she slumbered for hours while the train rolled on slumbering restlessly in the tropical heat Noun She fell into deep slumber. a toddler looking so innocent and peaceful in slumber
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Think Anthropologie for trinkets, bedding, and other fabulous finds, Saatva and Avocado for all things slumber, Dyson to upgrade your appliance game, and so much more for less. Amanda Randone,, 25 May 2021 Game notes: Despite solid pitching, the Tigers offense continues to slumber heading into the series finale. Andrew Hammond, Detroit Free Press, 26 Apr. 2021 The highest guest lodge in the Eastern United States, LeConte is the park's only place to slumber wholly protected. Tracey Minkin, Southern Living, 9 Mar. 2021 Dormice prefer to slumber in the hollows of old trees—and centuries of timber harvesting have stripped many of them from countries such as Poland, Belarus, Latvia, and Lithuania. Jason Bittel, Animals, 28 Dec. 2020 The getaway was designed and furnished to satisfy a desire for comfort, convenience, calm and slumber for vacation and business travelers. oregonlive, 26 June 2020 Without cytokines, the immune system would slumber while infections wreak havoc. Clifford Marks, The New Yorker, 29 Apr. 2020 Little and a slew of guest musicians, including keyboardist Newt Johnson, bassist John Onder and singer Tara Sayre Jones, would work from around 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., while Little's wife and daughter slumbered back home. Matt Wake |, al, 7 Apr. 2020 Here, as the giraffe slumbered, the gazelle was finally able to study him, and many truths became apparent to her at once. Riane Konc, The New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fall Creek Hatchery has awoken from an 18-year slumber to host what’s expected to be the first generation of salmon that will explore this area after four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River are removed in 2023. oregonlive, 14 July 2021 One way to stylishly achieve such slumber is with lighter linens splashed with botanicals. Laura Lajiness, Vogue, 18 June 2021 For those who prefer a more custom slumber, there's the Saatva Classic, which is currently $200 off for the store's Memorial Day sale. Jon Winkler, USA TODAY, 24 May 2021 For the ultimate in R&R-style slumber, crack a window to imitate a gusty sea breeze. Laura Lajiness, Vogue, 18 June 2021 Reawakening from a winter slumber, Time Out Market Chicago has announced its return for later in June (including the rooftop patio!). Adam Lukach,, 2 June 2021 After a year of lockdown, parents are eager to indulge their kids’ slumber-party fantasies—within reason. Wsj Off Duty Staff, WSJ, 29 May 2021 Occasionally hints are dropped, not actual holdings, that the doctrine will be revived from its 86 year slumber, and used to wipe out a broad range of Congressional actions. Charles Tiefer, Forbes, 19 June 2021 To be sure, the City That Never Sleeps is stirring from its long slumber, but it’s not quite ready for an all-nighter. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, 28 May 2021

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


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for slumber


Middle English slomren, slombren, frequentative of slumen to doze, probably from slume slumber, from Old English slūma; akin to Middle High German slumen to slumber

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best mattress toppers of 2021.

Learn More About slumber

Time Traveler for slumber

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near slumber




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for slumber

Last Updated

2 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slumber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for slumber


slum·​ber | \ ˈsləm-bər How to pronounce slumber (audio) \
slumbered; slumbering

Kids Definition of slumber

 (Entry 1 of 2)



Kids Definition of slumber (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on slumber

Nglish: Translation of slumber for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slumber for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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