Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

somnambulism

[som-nam-byuh-liz-uh m, suh m-]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. sleepwalking.

Origin of somnambulism

1790–1800; < New Latin somnambulismus, equivalent to somn(us) sleep + ambul(āre) to walk + -ismus -ism
Related formssom·nam·bu·list, nounsom·nam·bu·lis·tic, adjectivesem·i·som·nam·bu·lis·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for somnambulist

Historical Examples

  • For the most recent mile he had been, practically, a somnambulist.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • You pretend to be a somnambulist in order to carry out your ends.

    The Ivory Snuff Box

    Arnold Fredericks

  • "Like a—somnambulist," answered Hugh, choosing the word for its intensity.

    David Elginbrod

    George MacDonald

  • I would sooner have faced a dozen ghosts than a somnambulist.

    Tom, Dick and Harry

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • But his furtive movements had not the serene impassibility of the somnambulist.


British Dictionary definitions for somnambulist

somnambulism

noun
  1. a condition that is characterized by walking while asleep or in a hypnotic tranceAlso called: noctambulism
Derived Formssomnambulist, nounsomnambulistic, adjective
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

Word Origin and History for somnambulist

somnambulism

n.

1786, "walking in one's sleep or under hypnosis," from French somnambulisme, from Modern Latin somnambulus "sleepwalker," from Latin somnus "sleep" (see Somnus) + ambulare "to walk" (see amble (v.)).

Originally brought into use during the excitement over "animal magnetism;" it won out over noctambulation. A stack of related words came into use early 19c., e.g. somnambule "sleepwalker" (1837, from French somnambule, 1690s), earlier somnambulator (1803); as adjectives, somnambulary (1827), somnambular (1820).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

somnambulist in Medicine

somnambulism

(sŏm-nămbyə-lĭz′əm)
n.
  1. sleepwalking
Related formssom•nam′bu•listic adj.