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See more synonyms for sleepy on Thesaurus.com
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

Synonyms for sleepy

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

Related Words for sleepy

listless, sluggish, lethargic, drowsy, quiet, asleep, blah, comatose, dopey, heavy, hypnotic, inactive, out, sleeping, slow, somnolent, soporific, torpid, slumberous, dozy

Examples from the Web for sleepy

Contemporary Examples of sleepy

Historical Examples of sleepy

  • It seemed to my sleepy eyes as if an angel had melted his own door through the wall!

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • He was sleepy, that was all; but a sleepiness to fight against—he must still fight.


    W. A. Fraser

  • The Indian, quieted by the sleepy Chestnut, was going steadier.


    W. A. Fraser

  • When he was through with his work, it was late and he was sleepy.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • Then I grew so sleepy, that I was impatient to be shown to my bed.

British Dictionary definitions for sleepy


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 sleepy


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