What does sleep mean?

Definitions for sleep

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word sleep.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sleep, slumbernoun

    a natural and periodic state of rest during which consciousness of the world is suspended

    "he didn't get enough sleep last night"; "calm as a child in dreamless slumber"

  2. sleep, sopornoun

    a torpid state resembling deep sleep

  3. sleep, napnoun

    a period of time spent sleeping

    "he felt better after a little sleep"; "there wasn't time for a nap"

  4. rest, eternal rest, sleep, eternal sleep, quietusverb

    euphemisms for death (based on an analogy between lying in a bed and in a tomb)

    "she was laid to rest beside her husband"; "they had to put their family pet to sleep"

  5. sleep, kip, slumber, log Z's, catch some Z'sverb

    be asleep

  6. sleepverb

    be able to accommodate for sleeping

    "This tent sleeps six people"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Sleepnoun

    Repose; rest; suspension of the mental powers; slumber.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Methought I heard a voice cry sleep no more!
    Macbeth doth murder sleep; the innocent sleep;
    Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care;
    The birth of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,
    Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
    Chief nourisher in life’s feast. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    Cold calleth the spirits to succour; and therefore they cannot so well close and go together in the head, which is ever requisite to sleep. And for the same cause, pain and noise hinder sleep; and darkness furthereth sleep. Francis Bacon.

    Beasts that sleep in winter, as wild bears, during their sleep wax very fat, though they eat nothing. Francis Bacon.

    His fasten’d hands the rudder keep,
    And fix’d on heav’n, his eyes repel invading sleep. Dryden.

    Hermes o’er his head in air appear’d,
    His hat adorn’d with wings disclos’d the god,
    And in his hand the sleep-compelling rod. Dryden.

    Infants spend the greatest part of their time in sleep, and are seldom awake but when hunger calls for the teat, or some pain forces the mind to perceive it. John Locke.

  2. To Sleepverb

    Etymology: slepan, Gothick; sleepan , Saxon; slaepen, Dutch.

    I’ve watch’d and travell’d hard:
    Some time I shall sleep out; the rest I’ll whistle. William Shakespeare.

    Where’s Pede? —— go you, and where you find a maid,
    That, ere she sleep, hath thrice her prayers said,
    Rein up the organs of her fantasy;
    Sleep she as sound as careless infancy;
    But those that sleep, and think not on their sins,
    Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides, and shins. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    If the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge. Deut.

    Sleep on now, and take your rest; behold the hour is at hand. Matth. xxvi. 45.

    Peace, good reader! do not weep;
    Peace! the lovers are asleep:
    They, sweet turtles! folded lie,
    In the last knot that love could tie.
    Let them sleep, let them sleep on,
    Till this stormy night be gone,
    And the eternal morrow dawn,
    Then the curtains will be drawn,
    And they waken with that light,
    Whose day shall never sleep in night. Richard Crashaw.

    Those who at any time sleep without dreaming, can never be convinced that their thoughts are for four hours busy without their knowing it. John Locke.

    Steel, if thou turn thine edge, or cut not out the burly-bon’d clown in chines of beef ere thou sleep in thy sheath, I beseech Jove on my knees thou mayst be turned into hob-nails. William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

    How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
    Here will we sit, and let the sounds of musick
    Creep in our ears. William Shakespeare, Merch. of Venice.

    The giddy ship, betwixt the winds and tides,
    Forc’d back and forwards, in a circle rides,
    Stunn’d with the different blows; then shoots amain,
    Till counterbuff’d she stops, and sleeps again. Dryden.

    We sleep over our happiness, and want to be rouzed into a quick thankful sense of it. Francis Atterbury.

    If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 1 Thess.

    A person is said to be dead to us, because we cannot raise from the grave; though he only sleeps unto God, who can raise from the chamber of death. John Ayliffe, Parergon.

    Heav’n will one day open
    The king’s eyes, that so long have slept upon
    This bold, bad man. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    You ever
    Have wish’d the sleeping of this business, never
    Desir’d it to be stirr’d. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sleep

    imp. of Sleep. Slept

  2. Sleepverb

    to take rest by a suspension of the voluntary exercise of the powers of the body and mind, and an apathy of the organs of sense; to slumber

  3. Sleepverb

    to be careless, inattentive, or uncouncerned; not to be vigilant; to live thoughtlessly

  4. Sleepverb

    to be dead; to lie in the grave

  5. Sleepverb

    to be, or appear to be, in repose; to be quiet; to be unemployed, unused, or unagitated; to rest; to lie dormant; as, a question sleeps for the present; the law sleeps

  6. Sleepverb

    to be slumbering in; -- followed by a cognate object; as, to sleep a dreamless sleep

  7. Sleepverb

    to give sleep to; to furnish with accomodations for sleeping; to lodge

  8. Sleepverb

    a natural and healthy, but temporary and periodical, suspension of the functions of the organs of sense, as well as of those of the voluntary and rational soul; that state of the animal in which there is a lessened acuteness of sensory perception, a confusion of ideas, and a loss of mental control, followed by a more or less unconscious state

  9. Etymology: [OE. slepen, AS. slpan; akin to OFries. slpa, OS. slpan, D. slapen, OHG. slfan, G. schlafen, Goth. slpan, and G. schlaff slack, loose, and L. labi to glide, slide, labare to totter. Cf. Lapse.]


  1. Sleep

    Sleep is a naturally recurring state characterized by reduced or absent consciousness, relatively suspended sensory activity, and inactivity of nearly all voluntary muscles. It is distinguished from wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, and is more easily reversible than being in hibernation or a coma. Sleep is a heightened anabolic state, accentuating the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems. It is observed in all mammals, all birds, and many reptiles, amphibians, and fish. The purposes and mechanisms of sleep are only partially clear and the subject of substantial ongoing research. Sleep is sometimes thought to help conserve energy, though this theory is not fully adequate as it only decreases metabolism by about 5–10%. Additionally it is observed that mammals require sleep even during the hypometabolic state of hibernation, in which circumstance it is actually a net loss of energy as the animal returns from hypothermia to euthermia in order to sleep.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Sleep

    slēp, v.i. to take rest by relaxation: to become unconscious: to slumber: to rest: to be motionless or inactive: to remain unnoticed: to live thoughtlessly: to be dead: to rest in the grave:—pa.t. and pa.p. slept.—n. the state of one who, or that which, sleeps: slumber: rest: the dormancy of some animals during winter: (bot.) nyctitropism.—n. Sleep′er, one who sleeps: a horizontal timber supporting a weight, rails, &c.—adv. Sleep′ily.—n. Sleep′iness.—p.adj. Sleep′ing, occupied with, or for, sleeping: dormant.—n. the state of resting in sleep: (Shak.) the state of being at rest or in abeyance.—ns. Sleep′ing-car, -carriage, a railway-carriage in which passengers have berths for sleeping in; Sleep′ing-draught, a drink given to bring on sleep; Sleep′ing-part′ner (see Partner).—adj. Sleep′less, without sleep: unable to sleep.—adv. Sleep′lessly.—ns. Sleep′lessness; Sleep′-walk′er, one who walks while asleep: a somnambulist; Sleep′-walking.—adj. Sleep′y, inclined to sleep: drowsy: dull: lazy.—n. Sleep′yhead, a lazy person.—On sleep (B.), asleep. [A.S. slǽpanslǽp; Ger. schlaf, Goth. sleps.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. sleep

    1. [techspeak] To relinquish a claim (of a process on a multitasking system) for service; to indicate to the scheduler that a process may be deactivated until some given event occurs or a specified time delay elapses. 2. In jargon, used very similarly to v. block; also in sleep on, syn.: with block on. Often used to indicate that the speaker has relinquished a demand for resources until some (possibly unspecified) external event: “They can't get the fix I've been asking for into the next release, so I'm going to sleep on it until the release, then start hassling them again.”

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Sleep

    A readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. sleep

    A sail sleeps when, steadily filled with wind, it bellies to the breeze.

Suggested Resources

  1. sleep

    Song lyrics by sleep -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by sleep on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sleep' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2729

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sleep' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1475

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sleep' in Nouns Frequency: #1127

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sleep' in Verbs Frequency: #302

How to pronounce sleep?

How to say sleep in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sleep in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sleep in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of sleep in a Sentence

  1. Colette:

    Researchers, with science as their authority, will be able to cut -- Animals up, alive, into small pieces, drop them from a great height to see if they are shattered by the fall, or deprive them of sleep for sixteen days and nights continuously for the purposes of an iniquitous monograph... Animal trust, undeserved faith, when at last will you turn away from us? Shall we never tire of deceiving, betraying, tormenting animals before they cease to trust us?

  2. Fox News:

    The Doctor’s Guide to Sleep Solutions For Stress and Anxiety.

  3. John Elway:

    It's unfortunate and shocking to learn for the first time this week that Brian felt differently about our interview with him, for Brian to make an assumption about my appearance and state of mind early that morning was subjective, hurtful and just plain wrong. If I appeared' disheveled,' as he claimed, it was because we had flown in during the middle of the night -- immediately following another interview in Denver -- and were going on a few hours of sleep to meet the only window provided to us.

  4. Vasylchenko Valentyna:

    I sleep badly. I dream of my dead relatives.

  5. Jeremy Walsh:

    We know that the behaviors of physical activity, sleep and screen time can independently impact the cognitive health of a child. However, these behaviors are never considered in combination, we really had an opportunity here to look at how meeting each of these guidelines and meeting all of the guidelines relate to cognition in a large sample of American children.

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Translations for sleep

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    emerged from an egg
    • A. profound
    • B. nasty
    • C. greedy
    • D. hatched

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