Definition of asleep at the wheel in English:

asleep at the wheel

(North American asleep at the switch)


  • 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’
    • ‘As for extras, someone was asleep at the wheel on this disc.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Nor were our political leaders the only ones asleep at the switch.’
    • ‘We must have been asleep at the switch, and so we have to revamp our intelligence structure from the ground up.’
    • ‘We've been asleep at the wheel for over forty years, folks.’
    lax, negligent, neglectful, remiss, careless, slapdash, slipshod, lackadaisical, lazy, inefficient, incompetent, inattentive, offhand, casual, disorderly, disorganized
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