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verb (used without object), slept, sleeping.
to take the rest afforded by a suspension of voluntary bodily functions and the natural suspension, complete or partial, of consciousness; cease being awake.
Botany. to assume, especially at night, a state similar to the sleep of animals, marked by closing of petals, leaves, etc.
to be dormant, quiescent, or inactive, as faculties.
to be careless or unalert; allow one’s alertness, vigilance, or attentiveness to lie dormant:
While England slept, Germany prepared for war.
to lie in death:
They are sleeping in their tombs.
verb (used with object), slept, sleeping.
to take rest in (a specified kind of sleep):
He slept the sleep of the innocent.
to accommodate for sleeping; have sleeping accommodations for:
This trailer sleeps three people.
to spend or pass in sleep (usually followed by away or out):
to sleep the day away.
to recover from the effects of (a headache, hangover, etc.) by sleeping (usually followed by off or away).
the state of a person, animal, or plant that sleeps.
a period of sleeping:
a brief sleep.
dormancy or inactivity.
the repose of death.
sleeper (def 10).
Verb phrases
sleep around, Informal. to have sexual relations with many partners, especially in a casual way; be sexually promiscuous.
sleep in,

(especially of domestic help) to sleep where one is employed.
to sleep beyond one’s usual time of arising.

sleep on, to postpone making a decision about for at least a day:
to sleep on a proposal till the end of the week.
sleep out,

(especially of domestic help) to sleep away from one’s place of employment.
Chiefly Northern U.S. to sleep away from one’s home.
to sleep outdoors.

sleep over, to spend one or more nights in a place other than one’s own home:
Two friends will sleep over this weekend.
sleep together, to be sexual partners; have a sexual relationship.
sleep with, to have sexual relations with.
put to sleep, to put (an animal) to death in a humane way:
to put a sick old dog to sleep.
a periodic state of physiological rest during which consciousness is suspended and metabolic rate is decreased See also paradoxical sleep
(botany) the nontechnical name for nyctitropism
a period spent sleeping
a state of quiescence or dormancy
a poetic or euphemistic word for death
(informal) the dried mucoid particles often found in the corners of the eyes after sleeping
verb sleeps, sleeping, slept
(intransitive) to be in or as in the state of sleep
(intransitive) (of plants) to show nyctitropism
(intransitive) to be inactive or quiescent
(transitive) to have sleeping accommodation for (a certain number): the boat could sleep six
(transitive) foll by away. to pass (time) sleeping
(intransitive) to fail to pay attention
(intransitive) (poetic or euphemistic) to be dead
sleep on it, to give (something) extended consideration, esp overnight

sleep (slēp)
A natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which the eyes usually close and consciousness is completely or partially lost, so that there is a decrease in bodily movement and responsiveness to external stimuli. During sleep the brain in humans and other mammals undergoes a characteristic cycle of brain-wave activity that includes intervals of dreaming. v. slept (slěpt), sleep·ing, sleeps
To be in the state of sleep.
A natural, reversible state of rest in most vertebrate animals, occurring at regular intervals and necessary for the maintenance of health. During sleep, the eyes usually close, the muscles relax, and responsiveness to external stimuli decreases. Growth and repair of the tissues of the body are thought to occur, and energy is conserved and stored. In humans and certain other animals, sleep occurs in five stages, the first four consisting of non-REM sleep and the last stage consisting of REM sleep. These stages constitute a sleep cycle that repeats itself about five times during a normal episode of sleep. Each cycle is longer that the one preceding it because the length of the REM stage increases with every cycle until waking occurs. Stage I is characterized by drowsiness, Stage II by light sleep, and Stages III and IV by deep sleep. Stages II and III repeat themselves before REM sleep (Stage V), which occurs about 90 minutes after the onset of sleep. During REM sleep, dreams occur, and memory is thought to be organized. In the stages of non-REM sleep, there are no dreams, and brain activity decreases while the body recovers from wakeful activity. The amount and periodicity of sleep in humans vary with age, with infants sleeping frequently for shorter periods, and mature adults sleeping for longer uninterrupted periods. See also non-REM sleep, REM sleep.


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  • Sleep-like-a-top

    noun 1. a toy, often inversely conical, with a point on which it is made to spin. Idioms 2. sleep like a top, to sleep soundly: After a day of hiking and swimming we slept like tops. noun 1. the highest or uppermost part of anything: the top of a hill 2. the most important […]

  • Sleep mode

    noun an energy-saving standby condition of a computer which can be reactivated by external stimulus, such as touching the keyboard Usage Note computing

  • Sleep movement

    noun 1. the folding together of leaflets, petals, etc, that occurs at night in certain plants, such as the prayer plant (Maranta leuconura)

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