• (RP) enPR: slēp, IPA: /sliːp/
  • (GA) IPA: /slip/
  • (British) (“to sleep”)
  • (America)

sleep (sleeps, present participle sleeping; past and past participle slept)

  1. (intransitive) To rest in a state of reduced consciousness.
    You should sleep 8 hours a day.
    • 2016, [ VOA Learning English] (public domain)
      We sleep in the bedroom.
  2. (intransitive, of a spinning top or yo-yo) To spin on its axis with no other perceptible motion.
    When a top is sleeping, it is spinning but not precessing.
  3. (transitive) To cause (a spinning top or yo-yo) to spin on its axis with no other perceptible motion.
    • 1995, All Aboard for Space: Introducing Space to Youngsters (page 158)
      Yo-yo tricks involving sleeping the yo-yo (like "walking the dog" and "rocking the baby") cannot be performed in space.
  4. (transitive) To accommodate in beds.
    This caravan can sleep up to four people.
  5. (transitive) To be slumbering in (a state).
    to sleep a dreamless sleep
  6. (intransitive) To be careless, inattentive, or unconcerned; not to be vigilant; to live thoughtlessly.
    • We sleep over our happiness.
  7. (intransitive) To be dead; to lie in the grave.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, 1 Thessalonians 4:14 ↗:
      Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
  8. (intransitive) To be, or appear to be, in repose; to be quiet; to be unemployed, unused, or unagitated; to rest; to lie dormant.
    a question sleeps for the present; the law sleeps
    • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene i]:
      How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
  9. (computing, intransitive) To wait for a period of time without performing any action.
    After a failed connection attempt, the program sleeps for 5 seconds before trying again.
  10. (computing, transitive) To place into a state of hibernation.
    • 2009, Mike Lee, ‎Scott Meyers, Learn Mac OS X Snow Leopard (page 91)
      Even when you have reasons not to sleep the computer, it's still a good idea to sleep the display after a period of time.
Translations Translations Noun


  1. (uncountable) The state of reduced consciousness during which a human or animal rests in a daily rhythm.
    I really need some sleep.
    We need to conduct an overnight sleep test to diagnose your sleep problem.
  2. (countable, informal) An act or instance of sleeping.
    I’m just going to have a quick sleep.
  3. (informal, metonymically) A night.
    There are only three sleeps till Christmas!
  4. (uncountable) Rheum, crusty or gummy discharge found in the corner of the eyes after waking, whether real or a figurative objectification of sleep (in the sense of reduced consciousness).
    Synonyms: sleepy, sleeper, sleepy dust, crusty, gound
    Wipe the sleep from your eyes.
    • 2017, Adam J. Fisch, Neuroanatomy: Draw It to Know It, Oxford University Press (ISBN 9780190498597):
      [...] and draw the medial canthus (aka medial commissure) at the medial extreme. Now draw the lacrimal caruncle at the medial corner of the eye, which produces whitish, oily fluid—it produces “sleep in the eye.”
    • 2019, Jahangir Moini, Anatomy and Physiology for Health Professionals, Jones & Bartlett Learning (ISBN 9781284151978), page 780, entry "Medial canthus":
      The part of the eyelid that is the location of the lacrimal caruncle, which produces rheum or "sleep," the gritty substance often present when awakening.
  5. A state of plants, usually at night, when their leaflets approach each other and the flowers close and droop, or are covered by the folded leaves.
    Synonyms: nyctinasty, nyctitropism
    • 1843, Joh Müller, John Bell, Elements of Physiology, page 808:
      The daily sleep of plants, and their winter sleep, present in this respect exactly similar phenomena […]
  6. The hibernation of animals.
  • see also Thesaurus:sleep
  • (mucus in the eyes) sleepies, bed booger(s), eye bogey(s), eye bogie(s), eye booger(s), eye crust, eye goop(s), eye gunk(s), eye sand, eye-snot, eye snot, sleepy booger(s)
Translations Translations Translations

This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy 0.003
Offline English dictionary