soporific

adjective
sop·o·rif·ic | \ ˌsä-pə-ˈri-fik \

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

soporific

noun

Definition of soporific (Entry 2 of 2)

: a soporific agent specifically : hypnotic sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for soporific

Synonyms: Adjective

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

Antonyms: Adjective

stimulant

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

Adjective

"It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is 'soporific.' I have never felt sleepy after eating lettuces; but then I am not a rabbit." In The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies by Beatrix Potter, the children of Benjamin Bunny were very nearly done in by Mr. McGregor because they ate soporific lettuces that put them into a deep sleep. Their near fate can help you recall the history of soporific. The term traces to the Latin noun sopor, which means "deep sleep." (That root is related to somnus, the Latin word for sleep and the name of the Roman god of sleep.) French speakers used sopor as the basis of soporifique, which was probably the model for the English soporific.

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

Or, rather, the pseudo-activity of a free-market model, which keeps people soporific? Peter Pomerantsev, New York Times, "What Trained Bears Can Teach Us About Formerly Authoritarian Countries," 3 May 2018 Shows like Forensic Files and The New Detectives covered one case (or sometimes more) per episode, relying on stagey re-enactments and soporific interviews with local law enforcement to sketch out the rough outlines of a murder or a disappearance. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "How The Staircase Defined True Crime Series," 11 June 2018 Playwright Ayad Akhtar’s script keeps things moving, never getting too bogged down in the financial flimflammery to lose audiences — a neat trick given the occasionally soporific nature of high finance to anyone who’s not an account. Constance Grady, Vox, "Your guide to the 17 most important nominees at this year’s Tonys," 7 June 2018 Disjointed and direct, exhilarating and soporific, cerebral and squirrelly: The Image Book is lots of contradictory things at once. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Cannes Review: Jean-Luc Godard's The Image Book Confounds and Dazzles," 14 May 2018 To avoid muddying the texture, pianists rely on a clean, detached style, and as a result the music too often sounds subdued, fastidious, even soporific. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "The Rebel Harpsichordists," 14 May 2018 Three goals in the final 15 minutes put a gloss on a largely soporific performance at a well-below capacity Emirates Stadium. Afp, chicagotribune.com, "Aubameyang brace leads late Arsenal win over Stoke," 1 Apr. 2018 And at a time when politics seems to be downright histrionic in many parts of the world, Germany’s election campaign has felt surprisingly soporific. Yascha Mounk, Slate Magazine, "You Snooze, She Wins," 13 Sep. 2017 The once-soporific Uzbek media was allowed to explore some topics previously considered taboo. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, "In Uzbekistan, Signs of a Thaw After Decades of Repression," 14 Sep. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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, "World Cup 2018: Belgium Shocks Japan With Stunning Rally," 4 July 2018 This never made sense anyway, though for the gullible few, inflamed rhetoric has apparently served as an effective soporific. Thomas Jewell, cleveland.com, "A Noble choice: Carol Roe selected as new Cleveland Heights mayor," 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, "Nic Fanciulli Talks Collaborating with Gorillaz's Damon Albarn, Releases Debut Album 'My Heart'," 30 Oct. 2017 Tennis would appear to be inherently ill suited to radio, both overly busy and potentially as soporific, in terms of narration, as something like the shipping news. Sarah Lyall, New York Times, "‘Youzhny Lobs! Federer’s Underneath!’ Challenge of Tennis on Radio," 8 Sep. 2017 Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, even goes so far as to pre-emptively acknowledge his book’s potential soporific powers. David Kamp, New York Times, "Exploring the Necessity and Virtue of Sleep," 10 Oct. 2017 McConnell’s defeatism is both a soporific for the Right and a stimulant for the Left. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "Senate Majority Leader McConnell Should . . . Lead the Senate Majority," 10 July 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of soporific

Adjective

1665, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

circa 1727, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for soporific

Adjective

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about soporific

Listen to Our Podcast about soporific

Dictionary Entries near soporific

-sophy

sophy

sopite

soporific

soporifical

soporose

sopper

Statistics for soporific

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for soporific

The first known use of soporific was in 1665

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for soporific

soporific

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of soporific

: causing a person to become tired and ready to fall asleep

soporific

adjective
so·po·rif·ic | \ -ˈrif-ik \

Medical Definition of soporific 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: causing or tending to cause sleep

soporific

noun

Medical Definition of soporific (Entry 2 of 2)

: a soporific agent (as a drug)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on soporific

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

WORD OF THE DAY

occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!