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asleep

[uh-sleep]
See more synonyms for asleep on Thesaurus.com
adverb
  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.
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adjective
  1. sleeping: He is asleep.
  2. dormant; inactive.
  3. (of the foot, hand, leg, etc.) numb.
  4. dead.
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Origin of asleep

before 1000; Middle English o slæpe, aslepe, Old English on slǣpe; see a-1, sleep
Related formshalf-a·sleep, adjectivequa·si-a·sleep, adjective, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for asleep

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Harriet was asleep on the couch at the foot of her bed, and Christine's rooms were empty.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • And yet they looked just as human, you wouldn't 'a' believed it; just like they was asleep.

    Tom Sawyer Abroad

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • Jim said he hadn't been asleep; he just shut his eyes so he could listen better.

    Tom Sawyer Abroad

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • What was it, then, that had made her as if asleep, in her late restless waiting?

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • More than life he wanted her, but he did not want her asleep.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter


British Dictionary definitions for asleep

asleep

adjective (postpositive)
  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 dead
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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 asleep

adj.

c.1200, aslepe, o slæpe, from Old English on slæpe (see sleep). The parallel form on sleep continued until c.1550. Of limbs, "numb through stoppage of circulation," from late 14c. Meaning "inattentive, off guard" is from mid-14c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

asleep in Medicine

asleep

(ə-slēp)
adj.
  1. In a state of sleep; sleeping.
  2. Numb, as of a limb.
  3. Dead.
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adv.
  1. In or into a state of sleep.
  2. In or into a state of apathy or indifference.
  3. Into the sleep of the dead.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with asleep

asleep

In addition to the idiom beginning with asleep

  • asleep at the switch

also see:

  • fall asleep
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.