sop·​o·​rif·​ic | \ ˌsä-pə-ˈri-fik How to pronounce soporific (audio) \

Definition of soporific

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : causing or tending to cause sleep soporific drugs
b : tending to dull awareness or alertness
2 : of, relating to, or marked by sleepiness or lethargy



Definition of soporific (Entry 2 of 2)

: a soporific agent specifically : hypnotic sense 1

Synonyms & Antonyms for soporific

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Soporific comes from Latin sopor, which means "deep sleep." That root is related to somnus, the Latin word for "sleep." Despite its meaning, somnus has been active, giving English somnolence (sleepiness), somnambulism (sleepwalking), and many other "sleepy" words.

Examples of soporific in a Sentence

Adjective the soporific heat of summer this medication is soporific, so do not drive after taking it
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Time was, city council meetings in minor American burgs were sleepy, if not downright soporific affairs. Charles Isherwood, WSJ, 19 Apr. 2022 If the comfort of the chili sauce took the form of catharsis—heart-racing heat and its attendant sweat—the comfort of the tomato soup was soporific, more soothing than Campbell’s. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, 6 May 2022 The soporific Reagan era made the music and lyrics SST trafficked in seem an active threat. Mark Athitakis, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2022 His music has been described as bland and soporific -- like an aural hit of Ambien. John Blake, CNN, 5 Dec. 2021 The Ōura app even provides recordings of boring stories, read by someone with a wonderfully soporific voice, to help her fall asleep. John Horgan, Scientific American, 30 Sep. 2021 No other season lends itself so readily to daytime lounging as summer, with its soporific heat, slowed-down pace, and somnolent rhythms. Vogue, 6 Sep. 2021 On this show, what happens after dinner usually arrives in soporific glimpses. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, 15 Aug. 2021 Relevance, though, often covers a multitude of aesthetic faults — the soporific dullness of being earnest, relentless sentimentality or even a covert didacticism, typically stressing the myriad derelictions to which human beings are all prey. Washington Post, 23 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Despite the vicious—and mostly ineffective—GOP attacks on Biden’s mental acuity, the former vice president gave listeners a level of detail Thursday night that bordered on the soporific. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 15 Oct. 2020 The filmmakers hit the reset button again, to find new conflict-laden places to go, new soporific curses to do., 17 Oct. 2019 And education’s soporific wonkitude works in its favor: Negotiations fly under the radar. Roger Sollenberger, The New Republic, 5 Aug. 2019 Norton, who has already completed the 12-hour sleep-coaching program with his own Tier X trainer, takes me up to the hotel’s penthouse suite to watch the sunset over the Hudson and sample a line of soporific CBD chocolates. Howie Kahn, WSJ, 27 Mar. 2019 Like at night, when the soft beds and gentle rhythms of the train become a potent soporific. Jo Rodgers, Condé Nast Traveler, 7 Sep. 2018 After a soporific first 45 minutes ended scoreless, more than 40,000 spectators at the Rostov Arena had little reason to expect the remarkable, rollicking second half that awaited them. Tariq Panja, New York Times, 4 July 2018 This never made sense anyway, though for the gullible few, inflamed rhetoric has apparently served as an effective soporific. Thomas Jewell,, 3 Jan. 2018 The flow is further evident in the variety of tracks, which span the gamut from lush deep house rhythms to soporific electronica and ambient compositions. Michael Sundius, Billboard, 30 Oct. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'soporific.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of soporific


1665, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1727, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for soporific


probably from French soporifique, from Latin sopor deep sleep; akin to Latin somnus sleep — more at somnolent

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The first known use of soporific was in 1665

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Soporific.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for soporific


so·​po·​rif·​ic | \ -ˈrif-ik How to pronounce soporific (audio) \

Medical Definition of soporific

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: causing or tending to cause sleep



Medical Definition of soporific (Entry 2 of 2)

: a soporific agent (as a drug)

More from Merriam-Webster on soporific

Nglish: Translation of soporific for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of soporific for Arabic Speakers


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