sleeper (plural sleepers)

  1. Someone who sleeps.
    I'm a light sleeper: I get woken up by the smallest of sounds.
    She's a heavy sleeper: it takes a lot to wake her up.
  2. That which lies dormant, as a law.
    • 1612, Francis Bacon, Of Judicature
      Therefore let penal laws, if they have been sleepers of long, or if they be grown unfit for the present time, be by wise judged confined in the execution […]
    • 1958, Duncan Leroy Kennedy, Bill drafting (page 12)
      The object of these provisions is to prevent insertion of "jokers" or "sleepers" in bills and securing passage under the false color of the title.
  3. A spy, saboteur, or terrorist who lives unobtrusively in a community until activated by a prearranged signal; may be part of a sleeper cell.
  4. A small starter earring, worn to prevent a piercing from closing.
  5. A railway sleeping car.
    We spent a night on an uncomfortable sleeper between Athens and Vienna.
  6. (martial arts, wrestling) A sleeper hold.
  7. Something that achieves unexpected success after an interval of time.
    Synonyms: sleeper hit
    A box-office bomb when it first came out, the film was a sleeper, becoming much more popular decades after being released.
    • 1968, Marvin B. Scott, The Racing Game (page 160)
      For example, the [racehorse] trainer may have tipped a betting syndicate that he is about to unleash a sleeper […]
  8. A goby-like bottom-feeding freshwater fish of the family Odontobutidae.
  9. A nurse shark (family Ginglymostomatidae).
  10. A type of pajama for a person, especially a child, that covers the whole body, including the feet.
    Aaron, Devin, and Laura looked so comfy in their sleepers.
  11. (slang) An automobile which has been internally modified to excess, while retaining a mostly stock appearance in order to fool opponents in a drag race, or to avoid the attention of the police.
    Antonyms: cop magnet, rice burner, racecar
  12. (slang) A sedative.
  • (goby-like fish) sleeper goby
Translations Translations Translations Verb

sleeper (sleepers, present participle sleepering; past and past participle sleepered)

  1. (rare) To mark a calf by cutting its ear.
    • 1963, Jack Schaefer: Monte Walsh, p 81:
      I expect there ain't a trick to maverickin' and sleeperin' and changin' a brand he don't know.

sleeper (plural sleepers)

  1. (rail transport, British) A railroad tie.
    Synonyms: tie
  2. (carpentry) A structural beam in a floor running perpendicular to both the joists beneath and floorboards above.
  3. (nautical) A heavy floor timber in a ship's bottom.
  4. (nautical) The lowest, or bottom, tier of casks.

Proper noun
  1. Surname

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