somnolent

adjective
som·no·lent | \ˈsäm-nə-lənt \

Definition of somnolent 

1 : of a kind likely to induce sleep a somnolent sermon

2a : inclined to or heavy with sleep : drowsy

b : sleepy sense 2 somnolent rivers

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Other Words from somnolent

somnolently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for somnolent

Synonyms

drowsy, hypnotic, narcotic, opiate, slumberous (or slumbrous), soporific

Antonyms

stimulant

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The Sleepy History of Somnolent

Somnolent first appeared in the late 15th century in the redundant phrase "somnolent sleep." It came into English by way of Anglo-French from the Latin word somnolentus, which itself comes from somnus, meaning "sleep." Another offspring of somnus is somnambulism, a synonym of sleepwalking. Insomnia is also a member of this sleepy word family, though it might be considered the black sheep, since it means, of course, "the inability to sleep."

Examples of somnolent in a Sentence

trying to teach somnolent students on a very hot day the somnolent hum of insects in the grass

Recent Examples on the Web

Suddenly changing gears from somnolent piano lines to driving propulsion and back again, the music has the blank moodiness of a score for a nonexistent film. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "Yanni Is Still Chilling, 25 Years After the Acropolis," 16 May 2018 Their long-somnolent town is suddenly encountering a group of international urbanites with gleamingly expensive and outlandishly new equipment: sophisticated farm machinery, spanking new mobile homes, Rolls Royces. Wendla Mcgovern, The New Republic, "Range War: The Disciples Come to Antelope," 12 Apr. 2018 Instead, America now has a system in which determined minorities routinely defeat somnolent majorities. Alan S. Blinder, The New Republic, "An economist’s view of the American political process," 22 Mar. 2018 Houston is an ascendant mid-major program with a legendary head coach who energized a somnolent fan base through suffocating defense, a team-first mentality and a roster of players overlooked or cast aside by college basketball’s big boys. Mark Zeigler, sandiegouniontribune.com, "When SDSU faces Houston in NCAA Tournament, it many ways it's playing itself," 13 Mar. 2018 What remains constant throughout Macau, whether in the Macau Peninsula city-center or on the somnolent coast of Coloane, is the cuisine born from the interchange of Chinese and Portuguese flavors and cooking methods. Craig Cavallo, Condé Nast Traveler, "Macau, Beyond the Casino," 1 Feb. 2018 Playboi Carti looked somnolent during his performance. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "‘TRL’ Is Back on MTV, but Undone by the Internet," 25 Oct. 2017 But good luck with the somnolent and politically spineless Ryan decoonstructing the GOP failure on Obamacare. James Warren, vanityfair.com, "Trump Exposes His Empathy Gap with Puerto Rico," 26 Sep. 2017 But good luck with the somnolent and politically spineless Ryan decoonstructing the GOP failure on Obamacare. James Warren, The Hive, "Trump Exposes His Empathy Gap with Puerto Rico," 26 Sep. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for somnolent

Middle English sompnolent, from Anglo-French, from Latin somnolentus, from somnus sleep; akin to Old English swefn sleep, Greek hypnos

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The first known use of somnolent was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for somnolent

somnolent

adjective
som·no·lent | \-lənt \

Medical Definition of somnolent 

: inclined to or heavy with sleep : drowsy

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