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From Middle English slombren, slomren, frequentive of slummen, slumen ‎(to doze), probably from slume ‎(slumber), from Old English slūma, from Proto-Germanic *slūm- ‎(slack, loose, limp, flabby), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)lew- ‎(loose, limp, flabby), equivalent to sloom +‎ -er. Akin to Middle High German slumen ‎(to slumber). Non-Germanic cognates include Albanian gjumë ‎(sleep).


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slumber ‎(plural slumbers)

  1. A very light state of sleep, almost awake.
    He at last fell into a slumber, and thence into a fast sleep, which detained him in that place until it was almost night. — Bunyan.
    Fast asleep? It is no matter; / Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber. — Shakespeare.
    Rest to my soul, and slumber to my eyes. — Dryden.

Derived terms[edit]



slumber ‎(third-person singular simple present slumbers, present participle slumbering, simple past and past participle slumbered)

  1. (intransitive) To be in a very light state of sleep, almost awake.
    • Bible, Psalms cxxi. 4
      He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
  2. (intransitive) To be inactive or negligent.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To lay to sleep.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Wotton to this entry?)
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To stun; to stupefy.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)


See also[edit]