To be in the state of rest when your eyes are closed, your body is not active, and your mind is unconscious
I couldn't sleep because of the noise.
به خاطر سروصدا نتوانستم بخوابم.
verb (sleeps, sleeping, slept /, has slept)
to rest with your eyes closed, as you do at night:
I sleep for eight hours every night.
Did you sleep well?
Be careful! We usually say be asleep not be sleeping: I was asleep when you phoned. We use go to sleep or fall asleep to talk about starting to sleep: She got into bed and went to sleep. • He fell asleep in front of the fire.
I. sleep1 S1 W2 /sliːp/ BrE AmE verb (past tense and past participle slept /slept/) [intransitive]
[Word Family: noun: ↑sleep, ↑sleeper, ↑sleepiness, ↑sleeplessness; adjective: ↑asleep, ↑sleepless, ↑sleepy; adverb: ↑sleepily, ↑sleeplessly; verb: ↑sleep]
1. to rest your mind and body, usually at night when you are lying in bed with your eyes closed ⇨ asleep:
I usually sleep on my back.
Did you sleep well?
He’s lucky because at least he has somewhere to sleep.
2. sleep rough British English to sleep outdoors in uncomfortable conditions, especially because you have no money
3. sleep on it spoken to not make a decision about something important until the next day
4. sleep tight spoken said especially to children before they go to bed to say that you hope they sleep well:
Good night, Jenny. Sleep tight!
5. somebody can sleep easy used to say that someone no longer has to worry about something:
Unlike some other Internet sites, when you buy from us, you can sleep easy.
6. sleep two/four/six etc to have enough beds for a particular number of people:
The villa sleeps four.
7. let sleeping dogs lie to deliberately avoid mentioning a subject, so that you do not cause any trouble or argument
8. literary if a village, house etc sleeps, it is very quiet during the night
• • •
▪ sleep well I haven’t been sleeping well lately.
▪ sleep badly Eleanor slept badly that night.
▪ sleep soundly/deeply (=in a way that means you are not likely to wake) Within seconds, Maggie was sleeping soundly.
▪ sleep peacefully Celia slept peacefully beside him.
▪ sleep uneasily (=not sleep well, because you are worried) That night I slept uneasily, anxious about the meeting the next day.
▪ sleep fitfully literary (=sleep badly, waking up after short periods, especially because you are worried) She slept fitfully, her mind filled with images of Jack’s face.
▪ barely/hardly sleep (=to not sleep well) I’d hardly slept the night before the wedding.
▪ sleep late (=not wake up until late in the morning) She had slept late; it was already eleven.
▪ can’t/couldn’t sleep I went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep.
▪ be unable to sleep He lay down but was unable to sleep.
▪ have trouble sleeping (=to not sleep well) Why do so many elderly people have trouble sleeping?
▪ sleep like a log (also sleep like a baby) informal (=sleep very well) I was exhausted and slept like a log.
▪ not sleep a wink informal (=not sleep at all) I didn’t sleep a wink last night.
• • •
▪ sleep to rest your mind and body with your eyes closed. Sleep is usually used when talking about how long, how deeply, or where someone sleeps. When saying that someone is not awake, you use be asleep: Most people sleep for about eight hours. | He slept downstairs. | Did you sleep well?
▪ be asleep to be sleeping: The baby’s asleep – don’t wake her. | He was fast asleep (=completely asleep)by the time I got home.
▪ oversleep to sleep for longer than you intended so that you wake up late in the morning: I overslept and was late for work.
▪ take a nap (also have a nap especially British English) (also have forty winks informal) to sleep for a short time during the day: I think I’ll have a nap. | She had been awake all night and was looking forward to taking a nap.
▪ have/take a snooze informal to sleep for a short time, especially in a chair, not in a bed: I think I’ll have a quick snooze.
▪ doze to sleep lightly, for example in a chair, and be easily woken: I wasn’t really asleep – I was just dozing. | I must have dozed off (=started sleeping) halfway through the film.
▪ kip British English informal to sleep somewhere, especially somewhere that is not your home – a very informal use: I kipped at my mate’s for a couple of days. | Is it alright if I kip on the floor?
sleep around phrasal verb informal
to have sex with a lot of different people without having a serious relationship with any of them – used to show disapproval
sleep in phrasal verb informal
to let yourself sleep later than usual in the morning:
We usually sleep in on Sunday mornings.
sleep something ↔ off phrasal verb informal
to sleep until you do not feel ill any more, especially after drinking too much alcohol:
He went to his room to sleep it off.
sleep over phrasal verb
to sleep at someone’s house for a night – used especially by children
sleep through phrasal verb
1. sleep through something to sleep while something is happening and not be woken by it:
How did you manage to sleep through that thunderstorm?
2. sleep through (something) to sleep continuously for a long time:
I slept right through till lunchtime.
The baby slept peacefully through the night.
sleep together phrasal verb
if people sleep together, they have sex with each other
sleep with somebody phrasal verb
to have sex with someone, especially someone you are not married to:
Everybody in the office knows he’s been sleeping with Kathy.
sleep [sleep sleeps slept sleeping] verb, noun [sliːp] [sliːp]
verb (slept, slept [slept] ; [slept] )
1. intransitive (+ adv./prep.) to rest with your eyes closed and your mind and body not active
• to sleep well/deeply/soundly/badly
• I couldn'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 at 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 somebody is asleep than to say that somebody 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. transitive, no passive ~ sb to have enough beds for a particular number of people
• The apartment sleeps six.
• The hotel sleeps 120 guests.
more at live/sleep rough at rough adv., not sleep a ˈwink at wink n.
Old English slēp, slǣp (noun), slēpan, slǣpan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch slapen and German schlafen.
sleep verb I
• Try not to sleep during the day.
doze • • nap • |informal snooze • |literary slumber •
doze • nap • snooze
These words all mean to rest with your eyes closed and your mind and body not active.
sleep • to rest with your eyes shut and your mind and body not active: ▪ Did you sleep well? ◊ ▪ I couldn't sleep last night.
It is more usual to say that sb is asleep than that they are sleeping; but if you use an adverb to say how they are sleeping, use sleeping: ▪ ‘What's Ashley doing?’ ‘Sh! She's asleep.’ ◊ ▪ The baby was sleeping peacefully. ◊ The baby was asleep peacefully.
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.
to sleep/doze lightly/fitfully
to doze/snooze gently
• Did you sleep well last night?
• He was exhausted and slept deeply.
• I couldn't sleep so I got up and went downstairs.
• I had to sleep on my back for the first few days after the accident.
• I haven't slept properly for weeks.
• I only slept for four hours that night.
• I've been having trouble sleeping lately.
• Let them sleep late on Saturday morning if they want to.
• She always slept very lightly so I had to be careful not to wake her.
• She felt as if she had hardly slept.
• She scolded him for sleeping so long.
• She slept right through the storm.
• The children were all sleeping soundly.
• Very few babies sleep through the night.
• We can at least sleep easy at night, knowing that we are safe.
• We had to have our dog put to sleep.
• We slept overnight at the beach.
• When the murderer is caught we can all sleep easier in our beds at night.
• You must be very tired. Try to sleep a little.
• You should always put babies to sleep on their backs.
• the problem of young people who sleep rough in the streets
• Be quiet— I'm trying to sleep!
• Good night, sleep tight.
• He ended up sleeping rough on the streets of London.
• He had to sleep on the sofa.
• He lay there for hours, sleeping fitfully.
• He slept soundly that night.
• Her bed hadn't been slept in.
• I slept late, and didn't hear the news till midday.
• I usually sleep like a log.
• Jody was sleeping like a baby.
• John slept deeply that night and woke up refreshed.
• Let her sleep— it'll do her good.
• No, I slept pretty badly.
• She couldn't sleep a wink.
• She hardly slept at all the following night.
• She slept at her sister's house last night.
• She slept solidly for ten hours.
• She usually sleeps lightly.
• The baby was sleeping peacefully.
• We can all sleep more easily now.
Idioms: able to do something in your sleep ▪ go to sleep ▪ let sleeping dogs lie ▪ not lose lose no sleep over something ▪ put somebody to sleep ▪ put something to sleep ▪ sleep like a log ▪ sleep tight
Derived: sleep around ▪ sleep in ▪ sleep on something ▪ sleep over ▪ sleep something off ▪ sleep together ▪ sleep with somebody
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition
sleep / sliːp / verb ( slept , slept )
A1 [ I ] to be in the state of rest when your eyes are closed, your body is not active, and your mind is unconscious:
I couldn't sleep because of all the noise next door.
I slept late on Sunday morning.
How can Jayne sleep at night with all those worries on her mind!
We had dinner with Ann and Charles and slept the night (with them) (= at their home) .
→ See also oversleep , sleepout
[ T ] If a vehicle, tent, etc. sleeps a particular number of people, it provides enough space or beds for that number of people to be able to sleep in it:
The caravan sleeps four comfortably.
sleep like a log informal to sleep very well:
I went to bed early and slept like a log.
sleep on sth C2 to delay making a decision about something important until the next day so that you have time to consider it carefully:
Can I sleep on it, and tell you my decision tomorrow?
sleep rough UK to sleep outside because you have no home and no money:
Hundreds of kids are sleeping rough on the streets of London.
sleeping / ˈsliː.pɪŋ / adjective
She looked lovingly at the sleeping child.
→ See also asleep
© Cambridge University Press 2013
(sleeps, sleeping, slept)
Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English.
Sleep is the natural state of rest in which your eyes are closed, your body is inactive, and your mind does not think.
They were exhausted from lack of sleep...
Try and get some sleep...
Be quiet and go to sleep...
Often he would have bad dreams and cry out in his sleep.
When you sleep, you rest with your eyes closed and your mind and body inactive.
During the car journey, the baby slept...
...a pool surrounded by sleeping sunbathers.
VERB: V, V-ing
A sleep is a period of sleeping.
I think he may be ready for a sleep soon.
N-COUNT: usu sing
If a building or room sleeps a particular number of people, it has beds for that number of people.
The villa sleeps 10 and costs £530 per person for two weeks.
VERB: no cont, no passive, V amount
see also sleeping
If you cannot get to sleep, you are unable to sleep.
I can’t get to sleep with all that singing.
PHRASE: V inflects
If you say that you didn’t lose any sleep over something, you mean that you did not worry about it at all.
I didn’t lose too much sleep over that investigation.
PHRASE: V inflects, usu PHR over n
If you are trying to make a decision and you say that you will sleep on it, you mean that you will delay making a decision on it until the following day, so you have time to think about it.
PHRASE: V inflects
If a sick or injured animal is put to sleep, it is killed by a vet in a way that does not cause it pain.
I’m going take the dog down to the vet’s and have her put to sleep.
= put down
PHRASE: V inflects
1sleep /ˈsliːp/ verb sleeps; slept /ˈslɛpt/; sleep·ing
1 [no obj] : to rest your mind and body by closing your eyes and becoming unconscious
• I couldn't sleep last night. I was awake all night long.
• I usually try to sleep for at least eight hours every night.
• Did you sleep soundly/well last night?
• I slept badly/poorly.
• We were sleeping peacefully when a sudden loud noise woke us up.
• I can never sleep on airplanes.
• He has trouble sleeping. [=finds it difficult to fall asleep]
- sometimes used figuratively
• New York is the city that never sleeps. [=a city that is full of activity all night]
2 [+ obj] : to have enough space for (a specified number of people) to sleep in it
• The tent sleeps five adults.
let sleeping dogs lie
- see 1dog
sleep around [phrasal verb] informal + disapproving : to have sex with many different people
• I heard he sleeps around.
sleep away [phrasal verb] sleep away (something) or sleep (something) away chiefly US : to spend (a period of time) sleeping
• Don't sleep your day away.
sleep a wink informal : to sleep for even a very brief time - used in negative statements
• I didn't/couldn't sleep a wink [=didn't/couldn't sleep at all] last night.
sleep in [phrasal verb] informal : to sleep past the time when you usually get up
• On Sundays, we always sleep in.
sleep like a baby/log informal : to sleep very well
• After a long day of skiing, I slept like a baby/log last night.
sleep off [phrasal verb] sleep (something) off or sleep off (something) informal : to sleep until the effects of alcohol, medication, etc., are no longer felt
• She was sleeping off the anesthesia.
• He had too much to drink, and I'm letting him sleep it off.
sleep on it informal : to think more about something overnight and make a decision about it later
• You've heard my offer. Why don't you sleep on it and let me know what you decide.
sleep over [phrasal verb] : to stay overnight at another person's house
• My mother said that you could sleep over on Saturday.
- see also sleepover
sleep through [phrasal verb] sleep through (something) : to sleep without being awakened by (something, such as a loud noise)
• She slept (right) through the thunderstorm.
sleep tight : to sleep deeply and well
• Good night. Sleep tight.
sleep together [phrasal verb] informal : to have sex with each other
• She found out that her husband and his secretary were sleeping together.
sleep with [phrasal verb] sleep with (someone) informal : to have sex with (someone)
• She found out that her husband was sleeping with his secretary.