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

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Other Words from slumber


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for slumber

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "Sleepy dormice are losing their cozy tree hollows," 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, "Zen-like getaways: Oregon offers calm vacation destinations (and ideas for your home)," 26 June 2020 Without cytokines, the immune system would slumber while infections wreak havoc. Clifford Marks, The New Yorker, "What We Don’t Know About COVID-19," 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, "How songwriting is helping an Alabama vet’s PTSD," 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, "Aesop’s Fables Written After a Bad Breakup," 5 Feb. 2020 Nope; that’s the crew member who was supposed to be on watch while everyone else slumbered. Dan Thurot, Ars Technica, "Nemesis brings alien impregnation horror to your tabletop—and it works," 18 Jan. 2020 Both offenses were still slumbering in Game 3; the Red Sox managed one run on four hits off Verlander while the Tigers were shutout. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers: Solving the greatest 'What ifs' of the 2010s," 31 Dec. 2019 On one beach several bears appeared to be slumbering lazily. Eva Sohlman, New York Times, "Forged by Volcanoes, Kamchatka Offers Majestic, Magnetic Wilds," 7 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the end, A.J. collapses in a blissful post-adventure slumber, her right foot planted firmly in her father’s sleepless face. Howard Bryant, The Atlantic, "He Won a Super Bowl. Now for the Real Challenge.," 17 Dec. 2020 The body's temperature, heart rate and breathing slow, allowing the critters to wait out the frigid months in a deep slumber before awakening to warmer spring air. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Hibernating Squirrels Can Teach Astronauts About Preventing Muscle Loss," 14 Dec. 2020 Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which the muscles that keep our airways open relax during slumber, narrowing or stopping flow and causing periodic gaps in breathing. Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, "The 9 top health and medicine breakthroughs of 2020," 2 Dec. 2020 Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which the muscles that keep our airways open relax during slumber, narrowing or stopping flow and causing periodic gaps in breathing. Popular Science, "The 100 greatest innovations of 2020," 1 Dec. 2020 Smartphones are harmful to our slumber in many ways. Brian X. Chen, New York Times, "It’s Time for a Digital Detox. (You Know You Need It.)," 25 Nov. 2020 Inside, 85 wasps, each the size of a human thumb, are piled against each other in cold-induced slumber. Megan Molteni, Wired, "What to Wear When You’re Battling Giant, Venomous Hornets," 28 Oct. 2020 The native Sleep app feature tracks your slumber in the background, without any interaction from you. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Apple Watch Series 6: Is it worth it to upgrade?," 25 Sep. 2020 Rosh Hashanah begins Friday at sundown, customarily with the blowing of the shofar, the ram's horn, a sound traditionally meant to wake up people from their slumber, or perhaps in this year's case, quarantine. Ryan Prior, CNN, "In a year filled with pandemic and election madness, the Jewish New Year allows for a time to reflect and renew," 18 Sep. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for slumber

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slumber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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