- a short nap.
Origin of forty winks
Examples from the Web for forty winks
And then father, tired from his morning services, snatched a "forty-winks."The Quiver, 2/1900
- (functioning as singular or plural) informal a short light sleep; nap
A nap; a short sleep: “If you're feeling drowsy, take forty winks; I'll wake you when our guests arrive.”
Idioms and Phrases with forty winks
A brief nap, as in There's just time for forty winks before we have to leave. This expression supposedly was first recorded in 1828 and relies on wink in the sense of “sleep,” a usage dating from the 14th century.