[sop-uh-rif-ik, soh-puh-]


causing or tending to cause sleep.
pertaining to or characterized by sleep or sleepiness; sleepy; drowsy.


something that causes sleep, as a medicine or drug.

Origin of soporific

1655–65; < Latin sopor sopor + -i- + -fic; compare French soporifique
Related formssop·o·rif·i·cal·ly, adverban·ti·sop·o·rif·ic, adjective, nounnon·sop·or·if·ic, adjective, nounun·sop·o·rif·ic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for soporific

Contemporary Examples of soporific

Historical Examples of soporific

  • The first pages of most of these old papers are as soporific as a bed of poppies.

    Old News

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • He had made up his mind that he might have to spend days in this soporific hamlet.

    In Apple-Blossom Time

    Clara Louise Burnham

  • The soporific, thwarted in its effect for a moment, redoubled its power over him.

  • I shall administer a soporific to these men, and then shall extinguish the light.

    Roger the Bold

    F. S. Brereton

  • The restlessness of the sea acts as a soporific on jangled nerves.

    The Journal of a Disappointed Man

    Wilhelm Nero Pilate Barbellion

British Dictionary definitions for soporific


adjective Also: archaic soporiferous

inducing sleep
drowsy; sleepy


a drug or other agent that induces sleep
Derived Formssoporifically, adverb
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 soporific

"tending to produce sleep," 1680s, from French soporifique (17c.), formed in French from Latin sopor (genitive soporis) "deep sleep" (see sopor). As a noun from 1722. Earlier as an adjective was soporiferous (1580s as "characterized by excessive sleep," c.1600 as "soporific").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for soporific


[sŏp′ə-rĭfĭk, sō′pə-]


Inducing or tending to induce sleep.
Sleepy; drowsy.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.