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[slee-pee] /ˈsli pi/
adjective, sleepier, sleepiest.
ready or inclined to sleep; drowsy.
of or showing drowsiness.
languid; languorous:
a sleepy gesture.
lethargic; sluggish:
a sleepy brook.
a sleepy village.
inducing sleep; soporific:
sleepy warmth.
Origin of sleepy
Middle English word dating back to 1175-1225; See origin at sleep, -y1
Related forms
sleepily, adverb
sleepiness, noun
unsleepy, adjective
1. tired, somnolent, slumberous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sleepily
Historical Examples
  • "If I'm not dying, I don't need a priest," he said sleepily.

    Death of a Spaceman Walter M. Miller
  • After a while the Giant roused a little, and said sleepily: “Will it soon boil?”

  • And He says that he sleepily replied to him: "I am resting, and my children are with me asleep."

  • "I suppose so," answered Jill sleepily, and they went out with the pail.

    The Book of Nature Myths Florence Holbrook
  • "He is the best sportsman who has the coolest head," replied I, sleepily.


    Henry Seton Merriman
  • Zara, disturbed by her movements, woke up too, and looked at her sleepily.

  • A dog somewhere in the settlement barked uneasily and sleepily.

    Stories Of Georgia Joel Chandler Harris
  • "Let's wait till to-morrow and see what the weather's like," I said sleepily.

    Once a Week Alan Alexander Milne
  • "All right, sir," he answered, sleepily and somewhat weakly.

    The Wreck of the Titan Morgan Robertson
  • She opened her eyes and looked at him, first sleepily and then with resentment.

    The Stars, My Brothers Edmond Hamilton
British Dictionary definitions for sleepily


adjective sleepier, sleepiest
inclined to or needing sleep; drowsy
characterized by or exhibiting drowsiness, sluggishness, etc
conducive to sleep; soporific
without activity or bustle: a sleepy town
Derived Forms
sleepily, adverb
sleepiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sleepily



early 13c. from sleep (n.) + -y (2). Perhaps in Old English but not recorded. Old English had slæpor, slæpwerig in the sense "sleepy;" slæpnes "sleepiness." Cf. Old High German slafag. Of places, from 1851 (Irving's Sleepy Hollow is from 1820). Sleepy-head is from 1570s. Related: Sleepily; sleepiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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