adjective, sleep·i·er, sleep·i·est.

ready or inclined to sleep; drowsy.
of or showing drowsiness.
languid; languorous: a sleepy gesture.
lethargic; sluggish: a sleepy brook.
quiet: a sleepy village.
inducing sleep; soporific: sleepy warmth.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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

inclined to or needing sleep; drowsy
characterized by or exhibiting drowsiness, sluggishness, etc
conducive to sleep; soporific
without activity or bustlea sleepy town
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper