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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from slumber


slumberer \ ˈsləm-​bər-​ər How to pronounce slumberer (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 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 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun From from waking up Ariana Grande from her slumber to battling best friend Pete Davidson with a lightsaber, Machine Gun Kelly gives his wild account of being on set for his latest film. Mike Rose, cleveland, "Machine Gun Kelly breaks down a day on the movie set (video)," 20 Apr. 2020 Four hours into Trump's 18-hour trip back from India, Air Force One flew through a patch of turbulence so rough that the shaking of the plane roused some passengers from their slumber. Anchorage Daily News, "Inside Trump’s frantic attempts to minimize the coronavirus crisis," 1 Mar. 2020 Galasiewski also pointed out that some Chinese stocks are already starting to awaken from their slumber. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Now's the right time for investors to buy Chinese stocks," 26 Feb. 2020 Passengers were startled from their slumber at around 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday by a broadcast telling them to remain in their rooms. Miho Inada, WSJ, "Coronavirus Cruise Passengers Face Infection Worries, Blown Travel Plans and Boredom," 6 Feb. 2020 Simpson, founder and director of the gymnastics center GYMagination, suddenly awoke from slumber that morning in March with an unusually quick beating heart rate. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "Covid-19 fears keep people from hospitals, but doctors say call 911 for heart attack and stroke," 22 Apr. 2020 Suddenly, that restful night of slumber has devolved into a torturous session of tossing and turning. oregonlive, "Sleeping and coronavirus: How to enjoy a restful night during the pandemic," 9 Apr. 2020 Note how this generous owner is careful not to disturb Lazy’s slumber. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "Dog Named 'Lazy' Who Stays Asleep While Owner Cleans Around Her Adorably Lives Up to Her Name," 24 Feb. 2020 The show envisions what went through Princess Aurora’s head during her 100 years of slumber. Houston Chronicle, "The Must List: ‘Sleeping Beauty Dreams,’ Allison Moorer," 21 Nov. 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.

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

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

Statistics for slumber

Last Updated

14 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Slumber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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