sleep

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English slepen, from Old English slǣpan, from Proto-West Germanic *slāpan, from Proto-Germanic *slēpaną.

Verb[edit]

sleep (third-person singular simple present sleeps, present participle sleeping, simple past and past participle slept)

  1. (intransitive) To rest in a state of reduced consciousness.
    You should sleep eight hours a day.
  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.
    • 1854, Anne E. Baker, Glossary of Northamptonshire Words and Phrases:
      A top sleeps when it moves with such velocity, and spins so smoothly, that its motion is imperceptible.
  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 four people comfortably.
  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.
    • 1706 October 9 (Gregorian calendar), Francis Atterbury, “A Sermon Preach’d in the Guild-Hall Chapel, London, Sept. 28. 1706. Being the Day of the Election of the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor.”, in Fourteen Sermons Preach’d on Several Occasions. [], London: [] E. P. [Edmund Parker?] for Jonah Bowyer, [], published 1708, OCLC 1015443083, page 407:
      We ſleep over our Happineſs, Great as it is, and want to be rous'd into a quick and thankful ſenſe of it, either by an actual Change of Circumſtances, or by a Compariſon of our Own caſe with that of other Men.
  7. (intransitive) To be dead; to lie in the grave.
  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
  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.
  11. (transitive, reflexive) To achieve or make happen by manner of sleep.
    Sleep your way to good health.
    He hoped to sleep his troubles away.
Troponyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
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Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English slepe, sleep, sleepe, from Old English slǣp (sleep), from Proto-West Germanic *slāp, from Proto-Germanic *slēpaz (sleep).

Noun[edit]

sleep (countable and uncountable, plural sleeps)

  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: (informal) sleepy, (informal) sleeper, (informal) sleepy dust, (slang) crusty, (UK dialectal) gound
    Wipe the sleep from your eyes.
    • 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, H.L. Brækstad, transl., Folk and Fairy Tales, page 233:
      When she had rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and wept till she was tired, she set out on her way and walked for many, many a day, till she at last came to a big mountain.
    • 2017, Adam J. Fisch, Neuroanatomy: Draw It to Know It, Oxford University Press (→ISBN):
      [...] 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), 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.
Synonyms[edit]
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Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Noun[edit]

sleep m (plural slepen, diminutive sleepje n)

  1. (the act of) dragging, towing
  2. train, the part of wedding gown that drags behind the bride
Descendants[edit]
  • Papiamentu: sleep (dated)

Etymology 2[edit]

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Verb[edit]

sleep

  1. singular past indicative of slijpen

Verb[edit]

sleep

  1. first-person singular present indicative of slepen
  2. imperative of slepen

Anagrams[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Noun[edit]

sleep (uncountable)

  1. Alternative form of slepe