View synonyms for asleep


[ uh-sleep ]


  1. in or into a state of sleep:

    He fell asleep quickly.

  2. into a dormant or inactive state; to rest:

    Their anxieties were put asleep.

  3. into the state of death.


  1. sleeping:

    He is asleep.

  2. dormant; inactive.
  3. (of the foot, hand, leg, etc.) numb.


/ əˈsliːp /


  1. in or into a state of sleep
  2. in or into a dormant or inactive state
  3. (of limbs, esp when the blood supply to them has been restricted) numb; lacking sensation
  4. euphemistic.

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Other Words From

  • half-a·sleep adjective
  • quasi-a·sleep adjective adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of asleep1

before 1000; Middle English o slæpe, aslepe, Old English on slǣpe; a- 1, sleep

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Idioms and Phrases

In addition to the idiom beginning with asleep , also see fall asleep .

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Example Sentences

We fell asleep to the sound of the waves crashing against the breakwall.

We allow our smartphones to monitor where we go, what time we fall asleep and even whether we’ve washed our hands for a full 20 seconds.

Sometimes, when I am ready to turn in for the night, I will find him asleep in my bed!

He has a reputation as being hard to work with, and reportedly falls asleep in meetings that don’t interest him.

From Time

By the time I came home, they were both asleep and then we would do the same thing over and over again.

From Ozy

Dehydrated and feeling weary, Marino lay down beside another migrant under a tree and fell asleep.

And he was followed by each one of them until the seventh dwarf looked at his bed and saw Little Snow White lying there asleep.

Inside, it seemed hopeless, for every chair in sight was occupied, and a dozen men were asleep on the floor.

Sometimes the political people at the White House just appear to be asleep.

The girl next to me, an attractive brunette in her 20s, spent much of the first act and most of the second half asleep.

The Café tender was asleep in his chair; the porter had gone off; the sentinel alone kept awake on his post.

The sun shone and the birds sang, and the day was beautiful without when she at last fell asleep again.

Here Badorful rolled over upon his side, and was instantly fast asleep.

Upon this he went to bed again, fell asleep, and dreamed a fourth time as before.

The child asleep again, he laid it on its bed, and then sat far into the night thinking barrenly.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




Aslaugasleep at the switch