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verb (used without object), o·ver·slept, o·ver·sleep·ing.
  1. to sleep beyond the proper or intended time of waking: He overslept and missed his train.
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verb (used with object), o·ver·slept, o·ver·sleep·ing.
  1. to sleep beyond (a certain hour): She had overslept her usual time of arising.
  2. to let (oneself) sleep past the hour of arising: Of all mornings to oversleep myself!
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Origin of oversleep

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at over-, sleep
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for oversleep

Historical Examples

  • Clemens was not in the best humor because I had allowed him to oversleep.

    Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete

    Albert Bigelow Paine

  • What if I should oversleep and not get to breakfast, or to work, on time!

    Ted and the Telephone

    Sara Ware Bassett

  • But if I oversleep myself and am not on the look-out for you when you come, what will you do?

    The Beth Book

    Sarah Grand

  • As you may imagine, little Nabul did not oversleep the next morning.

  • Am I not to have an atom of breakfast, because I just happened to oversleep myself?


    R. D. Blackmore

British Dictionary definitions for oversleep


verb -sleeps, -sleeping or -slept
  1. (intr) to sleep beyond the intended time for getting up
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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 oversleep


late 14c., from over- + sleep (v.). Related: Overslept; oversleeping. Old English had a noun oferslæp "too much sleep."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper