the act or state of walking, eating, or performing other motor acts while asleep, of which one is unaware upon awakening; somnambulism.


of or relating to the state of walking while asleep; somnambulistic.

Origin of sleepwalking

First recorded in 1790–1800; sleep + walking
Related formssleep·walk·er, noun



verb (used without object)

to engage in sleepwalking.


an act of sleepwalking; somnambulation.

Origin of sleepwalk

First recorded in 1920–25; back formation from sleepwalking Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sleepwalking

noctambulism, somnambulation, somnambulism, somnambulance

Examples from the Web for sleepwalking

Contemporary Examples of sleepwalking

  • I sold my first novel, Sleepwalking, back when I was a senior in college, for five thousand dollars.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How I Write: Meg Wolitzer

    Noah Charney

    March 26, 2014

  • Ford had been sleepwalking through tepid Hollywood concoctions like Regarding Henry and Sabrina for years before Six Days.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Fall of Harrison Ford

    Richard Rushfield

    January 23, 2010

Historical Examples of sleepwalking

British Dictionary definitions for sleepwalking



(intr) to walk while asleepSee also somnambulism
Derived Formssleepwalker, nounsleepwalking, noun, adjective
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

sleepwalking in Medicine




The act of walking or performing another activity associated with wakefulness while asleep or in a sleeplike state.noctambulism somnambulism
Related formssleepwalk′ v.sleepwalk′er n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.