• synonyms


[som-nuh s]
  1. the ancient Roman god of sleep, a son of Night and brother of Death.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for somnus

Historical Examples

  • In a valley among the black Cimmerian mountains the death-god Somnus had his abode.

    A Book of Myths

    Jean Lang

  • To bed we go, and Somnus touches our eyes with his wand of poppies.

  • The Greek god of sleep and dreams, the son and minister of Somnus.

  • Ivory Gate.Gate leading from cave of Somnus to outer world, 210, 211.

  • Horn Gate.Gate leading from cave of Somnus to outer world, 210, 211.

British Dictionary definitions for somnus


  1. the Roman god of sleepGreek counterpart: Hypnos
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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 somnus



"sleep personified; the god of sleep in Roman mythology," equivalent of Greek Hypnos, son of Night and brother of Death, 1590s, from Latin somnus "sleep, drowsiness," from PIE *swep-no-, from root *swep- (1) "to sleep" (cf. Sanskrit svapnah, Avestan kvafna-, Greek hypnos, Lithuanian sapnas, Old Church Slavonic sunu, Old Irish suan, Welsh hun "sleep," Latin sopor "a deep sleep," Old English swefn, Old Norse svefn "a dream").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper