American English

Definition of sleep verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sleep
    he / she / it sleeps
    past simple slept
    -ing form sleeping
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  1. 1[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) to rest with your eyes closed and your mind and body not active to sleep well/deeply/soundly/badly Icouldn't sleep because of the noise. I had to sleep on the sofa. He slept solidly for ten hours. I slept at my sister's house last night (= stayed the night there). We both slept right through (= were not woken up by) the storm. She only sleeps for four hours a night. We sometimes sleep late on the weekends (= until late in the morning). I put the sleeping baby down gently. What are our sleeping arrangements here (= where shall we sleep)? It is more common to say that someone is asleep than to say that someone is sleeping. Sleep can only be used in the passive with a preposition such as in or on:It was clear her bed hadn't been slept in.
  2. 2[transitive, no passive] sleep somebody to have enough beds for a particular number of people The apartment sleeps six. The hotel sleeps 120 guests.
  3. Thesaurussleepdoze nap snoozeThese words all mean to rest with your eyes closed and your mind and body not active.sleep to rest with your eyes closed and your mind and body not active:Did you sleep well? I couldn't sleep last night.doze to sleep lightly, waking up easily, often when you are not in bed:He was dozing in front of the TV.nap to sleep for a short time, especially during the day.snooze (informal) to sleep lightly for a short time, especially during the day and usually not in bed:My brother was snoozing on the sofa.Patterns to sleep/doze lightly/fitfully to doze/snooze gentlyIdioms
    let sleeping dogs lie (saying)
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    to avoid mentioning a subject or something that happened in the past, in order to avoid any problems or arguments
    not get/have a wink of sleep, not sleep a wink
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    to not be able to sleep I didn't get a wink of sleep last night. I hardly slept a wink.
    sleep like a log/baby (informal)
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    to sleep very well
    sleep tight (informal)
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    used especially to children before they go to bed to say that you hope they sleep well Goodnight, sleep tight!
    Phrasal Verbssleep aroundsleep insleep somethingoffsleep on somethingsleep oversleep together
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sleep