[som-nam-byuh-leyt, suh m-]
See more synonyms for somnambulate on

Origin of somnambulate

1825–35; < Latin somn(us) sleep + ambulate
Related formssom·nam·bu·lant, adjective, nounsom·nam·bu·la·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for somnambulation

noctambulism, somnambulation, somnambulism, somnambulance

Examples from the Web for somnambulation

Historical Examples of somnambulation

  • This mental effort is termed reverie, or somnambulation, and is described more at large in Sect.

    Zoonomia, Vol. I

    Erasmus Darwin

  • The cataleptic spasm which preceded the reverie and somnambulation in the patient, whose case is related in Sect.

    Zoonomia, Vol. II

    Erasmus Darwin

British Dictionary definitions for somnambulation


  1. (intr) to walk while asleep
Derived Formssomnambulance, nounsomnambulant, adjective, nounsomnambulation, nounsomnambulator, noun

Word Origin for somnambulate

C19: from Latin somnus sleep + ambulāre to walk
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 somnambulation

1789, noun of action; see somnambulism.



1821, probably a back-formation from somnambulism. Related: Somnambulated; somnambulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper