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adjective, sleep·i·er, sleep·i·est.
  1. ready or inclined to sleep; drowsy.
  2. of or showing drowsiness.
  3. languid; languorous: a sleepy gesture.
  4. lethargic; sluggish: a sleepy brook.
  5. quiet: a sleepy village.
  6. inducing sleep; soporific: sleepy warmth.
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Origin of sleepy

Middle English word dating back to 1175–1225; see origin at sleep, -y1
Related formssleep·i·ly, adverbsleep·i·ness, nounun·sleep·y, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for sleepily

Historical Examples

  • "If I'm not dying, I don't need a priest," he said sleepily.

    Death of a Spaceman

    Walter M. Miller

  • After a while the Giant roused a little, and said sleepily: “Will it soon boil?”

  • And He says that he sleepily replied to him: "I am resting, and my children are with me asleep."

  • "I suppose so," answered Jill sleepily, and they went out with the pail.

    The Book of Nature Myths

    Florence Holbrook

  • "He is the best sportsman who has the coolest head," replied I, sleepily.


    Henry Seton Merriman

British Dictionary definitions for sleepily


adjective sleepier or sleepiest
  1. inclined to or needing sleep; drowsy
  2. characterized by or exhibiting drowsiness, sluggishness, etc
  3. conducive to sleep; soporific
  4. without activity or bustlea sleepy town
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Derived Formssleepily, adverbsleepiness, 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 sleepily



early 13c. from sleep (n.) + -y (2). Perhaps in Old English but not recorded. Old English had slæpor, slæpwerig in the sense "sleepy;" slæpnes "sleepiness." Cf. Old High German slafag. Of places, from 1851 (Irving's Sleepy Hollow is from 1820). Sleepy-head is from 1570s. Related: Sleepily; sleepiness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper