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

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 Through the first two games of the series, the Red Sox’ bats slumbered, the team scoring just five runs over 26 innings and failing to produce multiple runs in a single frame. Alex Speier,, "Oh, look, the Red Sox took a series from a good team," 19 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Aside from Machado’s 28th homer of the season leading off the fourth and Yastrzemski’s homer on the first pitch in the bottom of the fifth, the game settled into an offensive slumber for a while. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres’ faults on full display in loss to Giants," 30 Aug. 2019 Don't freak out just yet about your sleeping situation—apparently, the actual level and amount of VOCs that are released from our mattresses during our slumber isn't enough to actually be detrimental to our health. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "How Concerned Should You Be About Mattress Toxins?," 11 July 2019 Watford need to wake up from their slumber, before the sleep-walk into an unexpected relegation battle., "Watford 0-3 Brighton: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Seagulls Steal Points From Sting-Free Hornets," 10 Aug. 2019 Bradley Poynter, who oversees the zoo's conservation team and the work done by the ferret center, gently taps one of the cages and tosses some kibble into it, hoping to coax one of the ferrets out of its slumber. Andrew Nicla,, "Late hours, no pay, diminishing returns: Scouring the Arizona desert for black-footed ferrets," 10 July 2019 After protracted slumber in Earth’s icy fringes, bacteria, moss and nematodes are awakening in a new geologic epoch. Daniel Ackerman, Anchorage Daily News, "Ancient life awakens amid thawing ice caps and permafrost," 8 July 2019 Under-cabinet lighting provides a subtle glow that Kellie appreciates, especially when her eyes are adjusting at 1 a.m. for her job as an airline ticket agent while Ray slumbers. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "A 15-foot island made this Chandler couple's kitchen the entertaining space they craved," 13 June 2019 Sometimes a new insight will jolt him out of slumber. Sandi Doughton, The Seattle Times, "Sam Wasser pours his intense passion for protecting wildlife into research and catching poachers," 21 May 2019 In addition to tryptophan, pumpkin seeds contain zinc which helps convert tryptophan to slumber-inducing serotonin. Denise Foley, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get to Sleep Fast: 8 Simple Ideas," 27 Dec. 2012

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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Statistics for slumber

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

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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

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


to spread over or through

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