sleepy; drowsy.
tending to cause sleep.

Origin of somnolent

1425–75; late Middle English sompnolent < Old French < Latin somnolentus, derivative of somnus sleep; see -ulent
Related formssom·no·lence, som·no·len·cy, nounsom·no·lent·ly, adverbhy·per·som·no·lence, nounhy·per·som·no·lent, adjectivehy·per·som·no·lent·ly, adverbsem·i·som·no·lence, nounsem·i·som·no·lent, adjectivesem·i·som·no·lent·ly, adverbun·som·no·lent, adjectiveun·som·no·lent·ly, adverb

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

Related Words for somnolent

asleep, drowsy, listless, sleeping, soporific, tired, dozy, snoozy

Examples from the Web for somnolent

Contemporary Examples of somnolent

  • Swinton avoids wheat because of its somnolent effects on her: “I was sort of falling asleep for the filming,” she says.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Hollywood's Exquisite Alien

    Amanda Fortini

    April 30, 2009

Historical Examples of somnolent

British Dictionary definitions for somnolent



drowsy; sleepy
causing drowsiness
Derived Formssomnolence or somnolency, nounsomnolently, adverb

Word Origin for somnolent

C15: from Latin somnus sleep
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 somnolent

mid-15c., sompnolent, from Old French sompnolent (Modern French somnolent) or directly from Latin somnolentus "sleepy, drowsy," from somnus "sleep" (see Somnus). Respelled 17c. on Latin model.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

somnolent in Medicine




Drowsy; sleepy.
Inducing or tending to induce sleep; soporific.
In a condition of incomplete sleep; semicomatose.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.