[ som-nam-byuh-list, suhm- ]


  1. a person who walks around, eats, or performs other motor acts while asleep; sleepwalker:

    I have slept on the march like a somnambulist, and I have slept standing up like a horse.

  2. a person who seems to act without awareness, feeling, aim, or will:

    Most people go through much of their lives as somnambulists, unaware of themselves and unquestioning of their environment.

Discover More

Other Words From

  • som·nam·bu·lis·tic [som-nam-by, uh, -, lis, -tik, s, uh, m-], adjective
  • sem·i·som·nam·bu·lis·tic adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of somnambulist1

First recorded in 1780–90; somn- ( def ) + Latin ambul- ( amble ( def ) ) + -ist ( def )

Discover More

Example Sentences

The strange lucidity of the somnambulist still hung over her brain and mind, though outwardly she appeared troubled and confused.

Her eyes, dark with bewilderment, sought his blankly like those of a somnambulist.

Slowly Nivin levered his lank frame out of the chair and moved a pace like a somnambulist and stood staring at those fingers.

"Unless one of you, or some servant you trust with the key, is a somnambulist," said Knight.

When he had gone, I asked my companion if I was the somnambulist, thirty years old, who had cured so many people.


Word of the Day


[ak-suh-lot-l ]

Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.