Definition of asleep in English:



  • 1predicative In a state of sleep.

    ‘she had been asleep for over three hours’
    ‘a man lay asleep’
    ‘he soon fell asleep’
    • ‘I was so glad of my bed when I got to it that I fell asleep right away, and slept through until I was woken by the phone at eight.’
    • ‘I fell asleep knowing that whatever we had, it was finished, that this moment would be the last, that I had to let him go.’
    • ‘At about three or four that morning, I dropped my book and fell asleep.’
    • ‘One night she was at a party and fell asleep sitting on the speakerbox.’
    • ‘He was so exhausted from today's walk that when he sat down to rest, he fell asleep.’
    • ‘After he fell asleep, I sat on the bed and just spent a couple of minutes looking at him.’
    • ‘She rubbed his head till he fell asleep again, and she soon drifted off to sleep once more.’
    • ‘There they fell asleep and slept peacefully, as lovers did when they were together.’
    • ‘My mom wound it up every night and it plinked its way though the melody until I fell asleep.’
    • ‘I flew back from Seoul last night and fell asleep almost right away.’
    • ‘I fell asleep sometime after that and had some very disturbed dreams.’
    • ‘When they got home Nan fell asleep on the couch and remained asleep for the rest of the afternoon.’
    • ‘As I fell asleep halfway through, I never did discover how that turned out.’
    • ‘When I got to Las Vegas, I got my racing number and went back to the car to rest and fell asleep.’
    • ‘She had pizza bagels for lunch and fell asleep for a nap soon after we were done.’
    • ‘Samuel smiled and wrapped his arms around her as he too dozed off and fell asleep.’
    • ‘I fell asleep on the train from Victoria to Brighton the other evening.’
    • ‘So I fell asleep on the pull out couch in my studio apartment the minute I got home.’
    • ‘I don't know what's wearing me out at the moment, but for the first time in years I actually fell asleep on the train.’
    • ‘I used to listen to your breathing for hours after you fell asleep at night.’
    sleeping, fast asleep, sound asleep, in a deep sleep, slumbering, napping, catnapping, dozing, resting, reposing, drowsing, dormant, comatose
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    1. 1.1 Not attentive or alert; inactive.
      ‘the competition was not asleep’
      • ‘Matt was both alert and asleep at the same time, the feeling one gets when one spends the entire night awake drinking coffee.’
      • ‘I felt like a part of my brain was numb or asleep, but at the same time liberated.’
      • ‘I asked quite silly and half asleep what he was doing home again when he sort of mouped that it was all closed and no one was there.’
      inactive, inert, latent, fallow, passive, idle, at rest, inoperative, deactivated, in abeyance, quiet
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    2. 1.2 (of a limb) having no feeling; numb.
      ‘his legs were asleep’
      • ‘Brayden woke with a crick in his neck, his arm asleep and the blankets too warm about him.’
      • ‘It didn't feel so good at the time - my legs were still asleep and came slowly to life on the treadmill.’
      • ‘It's the fancy medical term for that nasty tingling that crawls up your leg when your foot's asleep.’
      • ‘Then I realized that my left foot was completely asleep and I could not move it or feel it at all.’
      • ‘Piper and Blair found a bench to sit down at while rubbed my leg which had fallen asleep on the ride up.’
      • ‘Then he would ask for her to help him to stand up, because his legs had fallen asleep.’
      • ‘Her hand had fallen asleep as it clutched her blanket around her shoulders.’
      numb, without feeling, numbed, benumbed, dead, deadened, desensitized, insensible, insensate, senseless, unfeeling
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    3. 1.3literary Used euphemistically to indicate that someone is dead.
      • ‘The dead lie asleep, but in the second coming they shall be awakened from their graves and clothed in new skin.’
      dead, expired, departed, gone, no more, passed on, passed away
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  • asleep at the wheel

    • informal Not attentive or alert.

      ‘let's hope the regulators are not asleep at the wheel’
      ‘someone must have been asleep at the switch to allow this’
      • ‘We must have been asleep at the switch, and so we have to revamp our intelligence structure from the ground up.’
      • ‘Nor were our political leaders the only ones asleep at the switch.’
      • ‘We've been asleep at the wheel for over forty years, folks.’
      • ‘The software giant has been quiet in the news business for some time, but don't assume the industry leader is asleep at the wheel.’
      • ‘As for extras, someone was asleep at the wheel on this disc.’
      lax, negligent, neglectful, remiss, careless, slapdash, slipshod, lackadaisical, lazy, inefficient, incompetent, inattentive, offhand, casual, disorderly, disorganized
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