som·​no·​lence | \ ˈsäm-nə-lən(t)s How to pronounce somnolence (audio) \

Definition of somnolence

: the quality or state of being drowsy : sleepiness

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Synonyms & Antonyms for somnolence


doziness, drowsiness, sleepiness


insomnia, sleeplessness, wakefulness

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Examples of somnolence in a Sentence

somnolence is likely to be the most typical and telling reaction to this novel

Recent Examples on the Web

Four years ago, the head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said there would be no more quick enlargement of the bloc, sending the process into somnolence. Steven Erlanger, New York Times, "In a New Cold War With Russia, Balkans Become a Testing Ground," 10 Apr. 2018 Johnson comes across as laid-back, sometimes to the point of somnolence. Gary D'amato, USA TODAY, "Dustin Johnson's game has everything, and this is his U.S. Open so far," 15 June 2018 Johnson comes across as laid-back, sometimes to the point of somnolence. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "D'Amato: Dustin Johnson is No. 1 for a reason and is in control at U.S. Open," 15 June 2018 These drugs are not without negative side effects such as somnolence, lethargy, constipation and drug tolerance, requiring increasing dosages. Andrea K. Mcdaniels,, "Treat pain in children differently than adults," 3 May 2018 Even the seeming somnolence of Ms. Hoss’s voice-over narration has its purpose. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Returning to Reims’ and Those European Working-Class Blues," 11 Feb. 2018 Perhaps feeling that there’s no point in competing with a royal tornado, the rest of the cast turns in nigh-invisible performances that lean toward somnolence or stiffness. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Michael Urie Puts the Madcap in Hamlet’s Madness," 23 Jan. 2018 After reaching a high point in the mid-2000s, with Jason Varitek vigorously smushing a catcher’s mitt into A-Rod’s pretty mug, the Red Sox and Yankees rivalry drifted off into somnolence this decade. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Liar, Liar, Red Sox on Fire?," 6 Sep. 2017 Time to put away the beach book and dive into the arts, which return this month from their summer somnolence. Tirdad Derakhshani,, "An explosion of arts in Philly with four major festivals: Fringe, Monument Lab, O17 and Parkway 100," 31 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'somnolence.' 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 somnolence

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for somnolence

The first known use of somnolence was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for somnolence


som·​no·​lence | \ ˈsäm-nə-lən(t)s How to pronounce somnolence (audio) \

Medical Definition of somnolence

: the quality or state of being drowsy

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Comments on somnolence

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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