sleep Definition

  • 1a condition of body and mind that typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is relatively inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended
  • 2be in a state of sleep
  • 3a thing resembling sleep, especially in quality or depth

Using sleep: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "sleep" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I usually sleep for eight hours a night.

  • Example

    She was sleeping soundly when the phone rang.

  • Example

    The baby finally fell asleep after an hour of crying.

  • Example

    I can't sleep when it's too hot in the room.

  • Example

    He slept through the entire movie.

sleep Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for sleep

  • verb: doze off, nod off, drop off, drift off, slumber, rest, nap, drowse, snooze, hibernate, catnap, siesta, catch some Z's, be asleep, be in the land of Nod
  • noun: slumber, rest, nap, doze, siesta, snooze, catnap, drowse, hibernation, unconsciousness

Antonyms for sleep

  • verb: wake up, arise, get up, rise, stir, rouse, revive, awaken, come to, be awake
  • noun: wakefulness, consciousness

Idioms Using sleep

  • a powerful or important person or thing that is not active or apparent but has the potential to be


    The company is a sleeping giant in the industry, waiting to be awakened by new leadership.

  • to leave a situation alone and avoid restarting or aggravating a conflict


    I know you're angry with him, but let sleeping dogs lie and don't make things worse.

  • a night during which one is unable to sleep


    I had a sleepless night worrying about the exam.

Phrases with sleep

  • to begin sleeping


    I usually go to sleep around 11 pm.

  • to worry about something so much that it affects your ability to sleep


    I'm not going to lose any sleep over what he said.

  • to cause someone or something to become unconscious, especially in order to perform a medical operation


    The dentist put me to sleep before pulling my tooth.

Origins of sleep

from Old English 'slēpan', meaning 'to sleep'


Summary: sleep in Brief

The term 'sleep' [sliːp] refers to the state of rest and inactivity that occurs for several hours every night. It can also mean a similar state of unconsciousness or inactivity. Phrases like 'go to sleep' and 'lose sleep over something' are common, as well as idioms like 'let sleeping dogs lie.'

How do native speakers use this expression?