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
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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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