Definition of siesta in English:



  • An afternoon rest or nap, especially one taken during the hottest hours of the day in a hot climate.

    ‘everyone had a siesta for a few hours’
    • ‘Sometimes I used to wake from my siesta perfectly rested, ready for my late afternoon walk along Bolonia beach and my swim in the cool Atlantic.’
    • ‘In addition, it is common for us to require afternoon siestas or cat naps of about an hour each day.’
    • ‘I left Stone Town soon after lunch, just as the town's menfolk were heading back to their houses to take their afternoon siesta.’
    • ‘Sunday afternoons are not meant for siestas for these cricket lovers who play the game on a ground which is usually rented out for exhibitions.’
    • ‘After lunch we all took a siesta while the heat of the afternoon reached its peak and then, one at a time, we filed back outside.’
    • ‘His research also showed that afternoon siestas were chock-full of slow-wave sleep, the type that appears to be most important for recharging the body.’
    • ‘I go home to my apartment at around 11 or 12 and get about six hours of sleep and a couple of hours for an afternoon siesta.’
    • ‘When I opened my store I was determined that I would have afternoon siestas for about an hour each day.’
    • ‘A few men were having their afternoon siesta under the mango tree.’
    • ‘The main meal is eaten at midday, often followed by a siesta, or afternoon rest during the hottest time of the day, when work is difficult.’
    • ‘Of course, with a little prodding they enjoy their afternoon siesta.’
    • ‘When the small human cast disappears for the afternoon siesta, all is stillness and peace.’
    • ‘We all of us had lunch and then disposed ourselves about the house for a siesta in the full heat of the afternoon.’
    • ‘People make up for lost sleep during the afternoon siesta.’
    • ‘So we wandered in mellow mood out into the afternoon sunshine for the trip home and a belated siesta.’
    • ‘So legendary are the soporific effects of the language of governments that afternoon siestas are a sine qua non in government offices and Prime Ministers have regularly dropped off to sleep while delivering their own speeches.’
    • ‘In some countries the great tradition of the afternoon siesta is under threat or has even been banned.’
    • ‘Although locals say it isn't as prevalent as it once was, the tradition of an afternoon siesta still exists here.’
    • ‘Many of the rooms retain their original frescoes and stained glass windows - the diffused light is excellent for afternoon siestas.’
    • ‘Just as lunch had been an affair for everyone to participate in, afternoon became a community siesta.’
    afternoon sleep, nap, catnap, doze, drowse, rest
    snooze, lie-down, forty winks, a bit of shut-eye
    kip, zizz
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century: Spanish, from Latin sexta (hora) sixth hour.