adjective, drow·si·er, drow·si·est.

half-asleep; sleepy.
marked by or resulting from sleepiness.
dull; sluggish.
inducing lethargy or sleepiness: drowsy spring weather.

Origin of drowsy

First recorded in 1520–30; drowse + -y1
Related formsdrow·si·ly, adverbdrow·si·ness, noun

Synonyms for drowsy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for drowsiness

Contemporary Examples of drowsiness

Historical Examples of drowsiness

  • You have cast from you with the warm blanket the drowsiness of dreams.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • He apologised for his drowsiness; but said that he was so sleepy that he must retire.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • A drowsiness possessed me; I felt like one awaking from a dream.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • "That accounts for his drowsiness," muttered he, between his teeth.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore

    Charles James Lever

  • De Spain got up and shook off the chilliness and drowsiness of the night.

    Nan of Music Mountain

    Frank H. Spearman

British Dictionary definitions for drowsiness


adjective drowsier or drowsiest

heavy with sleepiness; sleepy
inducing sleep; soporific
sluggish or lethargic; dull
Derived Formsdrowsily, adverbdrowsiness, 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

Word Origin and History for drowsiness



1520s, probably ultimately from Old English drusan, drusian "sink," also "become languid, slow, or inactive" (related to dreosan "to fall"), from Proto-Germanic *drus- (see dreary). But there is no record of it in Middle English. Related: Drowsily; drowsiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for drowsiness




A state of impaired awareness associated with a desire or inclination to sleep.hypnesthesia
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.