Definition of somnolent
- a somnolent sermon
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trying to teach somnolent students on a very hot day
the somnolent hum of insects in the grass
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.
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."
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for somnolent
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without deliberation, pause, or delay
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