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

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 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 Brigham co-authored a study, published this year in the journal Oecologia, that found the average poorwill torpor is about five days—but that one especially sleepy bird slumbered for 45. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "Fascinating ways animals prepare for fall," 27 Sep. 2019 Our short person has left for the schoolhouse, our official mascot is slumbering at our feet, and our coffee kettle is whistling a familiar tune. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: States push back on opioid deal; sheriffs acted as front group to decry importation," 24 Oct. 2019 Barcelona slumbered to a defeat against Chelsea in their first pre-season fixture but have since recovered well to beat Japanese side Vissel Kobe before turning over Arsenal 2-1 at Camp Nou last time out., "Napoli vs Barcelona Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 5 Aug. 2019 And what more fitting a train than the 4449, slumbering in obscurity those long years, but robustly willing to do the work it was designed for? Tom Bentley, Popular Mechanics, "Why the SP 4449 Is Such a Badass Train," 15 July 2019 After a night of gazing at the heavens and then slumbering under the stars, wake the next morning as the wildlife — elephants, giraffes, maybe big cats — gather at the river to begin their day anew. Mary Ann Anderson, Dallas News, "Kenya's star beds offer a feast for the senses," 2 July 2019 Yes, the lumber slumbered most of the drizzly night at Comerica Park in the Tigers’ 4-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers strike out 15 times in 4-2 loss to Indians," 15 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Nwora awoke from his slumber with a trey from the wing with 2:20 remaining to give Louisville a 68-65 lead. Rana L. Cash, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky vs. Louisville basketball live: Wildcats trip up rivals, 78-70, at Rupp Arena," 28 Dec. 2019 Frick describes it as a really bad case of athlete’s foot, or lesions, that cover the bat, causing them to wake up from their winter slumber. Patrick M. O'connell,, "Bats live mostly out of sight and out of mind. But their falling numbers are a reason to look up and worry, scientists say.," 31 Oct. 2019 When the Nationals finally roused from their offensive slumber in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s wild-card game, Soto was the guy who delivered the game-winning hit. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers’ Adam Kolarek makes the most out of his long-awaited postseason debut," 3 Oct. 2019 Sleep when the baby sleeps My strategy worked; Miles fussed for a bit and then (hallelujah!) fell into a slumber for about four hours. Sarah Firshein, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Survive a Red-Eye Flight With a Baby," 13 Sep. 2019 The offensive line only seemed to awaken from their two week slumber in the second half. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Colts suffer shocking loss to Dolphins as Vinatieri, Ebron, Hoyer struggle," 10 Nov. 2019 Scientists worried those quakes could set off a domino effect, reawakening the southern San Andreas from its long slumber. Rong-gong Lin Ii,, "A swarm of 1,000 earthquakes hit Southern California — how nervous should we be?," 19 June 2019 And that all of this losing is supposed to be endured — and stored — for release when one of these teams bolts from its slumber and takes you for a ride. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit sports are terrible. But one day, it will make winning that much sweeter," 6 Dec. 2019 For me, when woken from a deep slumber, a croaky none. Geoffrey Morrison, New York Times, "10 Hotel Tips No One Taught You," 30 July 2019

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 2020

Cite this Entry

“Slumber.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slumber

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slumber

Spanish Central: Translation of slumber

Nglish: Translation of slumber for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slumber for Arabic Speakers

Comments on slumber

What made you want to look up slumber? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to assert without proof or before proving

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