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

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Other Words from slumber


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for slumber

Synonyms: Verb

catnap, doze, nap, rest, sleep, snooze

Synonyms: Noun

bed, catnapping, dozing, napping, repose, rest, resting, shut-eye, sleep, slumbering, snoozing, z's (or zs)

Antonyms: Noun

consciousness, wake, wakefulness

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Examples of slumber in a Sentence


she slumbered for hours while the train rolled on slumbering restlessly in the tropical heat


She fell into deep slumber. a toddler looking so innocent and peaceful in slumber
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Depicting napping knights, slumbering artisans and slumping kings, the series is on loan from an Oxfordshire country house, where the series has been decorating the salon walls since it was installed there in the 1890s. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "In London, Medieval Legends Through Modern Eyes," 19 Oct. 2018 Since then, the beautiful Provençal city with its Roman amphitheater surrounded by pretty 18th-century townhouses and mansions and dainty 19th-century villas and ’60s housing projects has long slumbered. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "What to See at the Rencontres d’Arles Photo Festival," 24 Aug. 2018 But none of these theories hold a candle to my favorite conjecture of all: slumbering digital aliens. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "But, Seriously, Where Is Everybody?," 22 June 2018 Hough looked up to see the bear slumbering in the tree. CBS News, "Bear takes dip in California hot tub, drinks margarita," 3 July 2018 How many sons of Italian or Jewish or Polish parents slumbered in slums untaught (and) unlearned, their potential lost forever to the nation and human race? James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: RFK’s speech in apartheid South Africa remains relevant 50 years after his assassination," 5 June 2018 And, of course, there is always the chance that Martian methanogens still slumber in the planet’s subsurface even today, periodically awakening during clement periods to produce their gaseous calling-card. Adam Mann, Scientific American, "Curiosity Rover Uncovers Long-Sought Organic Materials on Martian Surface," 7 June 2018 Doctors and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine say they like that activity trackers – which can monitor not only exercise but how much of your time in bed is spent slumbering — have gotten people more interested in their sleeping habits. Sarah Gantz,, "The high cost of getting a good night's sleep," 6 June 2018 These airfields and hangars, filled with the ghosts of spy planes past, slumbered as L.A.’s celebrity associations took center stage. Geoff Manaugh, The Atlantic, "Los Angeles, America’s Future Spaceport," 17 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There's a lot of mental activity around the emotionally energetic full moon in Scorpio on Saturday, May 18, illuminating your house of slumber and seclusion. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What May’s Sagittarius Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 30 Apr. 2019 The research might also improve the quality of slumber for shift workers, bleary business travelers and insomniacs, the Journal’s Robert Lee Hotz writes. Allure, "The 15 Best Face Washes for Oily Skin," 19 Mar. 2019 The National Sleep Foudnation recommends teens get between 8 and 10 hours of slumber per night. Danielle Corcione, Teen Vogue, "How to Fall Asleep," 12 Mar. 2019 Waking from a late slumber, the neighborhood gently crescendos into joyful chaos, first signaled by the clink of tattooed baristas pouring the trendiest café con leches in the city. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "Where to Eat and Shop in Malasaña, the Williamsburg of Madrid," 22 July 2018 The app monitors your slumber through out the night and, in the morning, gives you a break down of your sleep quality. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Do Sleep Glasses Actually Work?," 5 Feb. 2019 There’s no firm line drawn between slumber and reality. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "‘Atlanta’ Skips a Grade," 11 May 2018 Power Moves: This Moon’s passage through your Pisces-ruled zone of deep slumber is asking you to reconnect to life beyond logic, Scorpio. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes October 8-14," 8 Oct. 2014 Tax and regulatory reforms were jolting the supply side of the economy from its slumber. Kevin Warsh, WSJ, "Fed Tightening? Not Now," 16 Dec. 2018

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for slumber

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

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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)

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More from Merriam-Webster on slumber

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slumber

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slumber

Spanish Central: Translation of slumber

Nglish: Translation of slumber for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slumber for Arabic Speakers

Comments on slumber

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