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 drowsy

Contemporary Examples of drowsy

Historical Examples of drowsy

  • I have not been in bed all night; nor am I in the least drowsy.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • "I'm depending upon you for the bread," he said to the drowsy man in the hammock.

  • She was talking to me in this way one drowsy August afternoon.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • But try as he would he could not get drowsy, on the contrary he felt wide awake and animated.

    Master and Man

    Leo Tolstoy

  • The mate, who by this time was drowsy, did as desired, and in a moment the Arab was at liberty.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for drowsy


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 drowsy

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