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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
1175-1225; Middle English; see sleep, -y1
Related forms
sleepily, adverb
sleepiness, noun
unsleepy, adjective
1. tired, somnolent, slumberous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for sleepily
Historical Examples
  • Soft white summer clouds hung so sleepily in the southwest they scarce suggested motion.

  • "Let's wait till to-morrow and see what the weather's like," I said sleepily.

    Once a Week Alan Alexander Milne
  • Addison was awake and lay regarding us, sleepily; but Willis had already got up and gone out with the gun.

    When Life Was Young C. A. Stephens
  • "You will find me in this park on any evening when the weather is suitable," said the Prince, sleepily.

    The Four Million

    O. Henry
  • She sleepily noted, too, that there were flowers on the walls, and more floating lace over the bureau.

    The Portion of Labor Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • Content, serene, numbed with her happiness, she watched him sleepily.

    A Young Man in a Hurry Robert W. Chambers
  • I kept very quiet, and he brushed two or three times past my legs, eyeing me sleepily.

    Wood Folk at School William J. Long
  • "If I'm not dying, I don't need a priest," he said sleepily.

    Death of a Spaceman Walter M. Miller
  • He went into his room on tiptoe, but Eleanor heard him and said, sleepily, "What on earth have you been talking about?"

    The Vehement Flame Margaret Wade Campbell Deland
  • After a while the Giant roused a little, and said sleepily: “Will it soon boil?”

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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