Definition of sleeper in English:

sleeper

noun

  • 1A person or animal who is asleep or who sleeps in a specified way.

    ‘he was a light sleeper, for long periods an insomniac’
    • ‘He was a lighter sleeper when more people were around, apparently, and woke up while I was walking by.’
    • ‘I've always been a light sleeper, but years of travel mean I can pretty much fall asleep anywhere.’
    • ‘The researchers found cognitive behavioral therapy worked best to treat insomnia, producing the largest number of normal sleepers after treatment.’
    • ‘I know you've always wanted a whole bunch of kids, and I know whoever your wife is has to be a deep sleeper because you snore a lot more and louder than you think!’
    • ‘Moreover, at 6 months, the mothers of back sleepers reported fewer instances in which their infants had trouble sleeping than did the mothers of stomach sleepers.’
    • ‘Subjects who rated themselves as habitually good sleepers were largely unaffected by the valerian extract.’
    • ‘Nathan had always been the lightest sleeper he had ever known.’
    • ‘She didn't know whether he was a light or heavy sleeper, but apparently, he was a light sleeper.’
    • ‘Homeowners are often light sleepers and armed.’
    • ‘If your child is generally a good sleeper and begins waking in the night, it's a good idea to check there isn't a medical reason.’
    • ‘She is a light sleeper and sleeping next to me does deprive her of what little sleep she does get.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the huge quantity of sleeping pills, sedatives and anti-depressants doled out each year to poor sleepers are a strain on the health budget.’
    • ‘I'm quite a light sleeper, so even my answering machine taking a message usually wakes me.’
    • ‘I'm normally a light sleeper, so it was a surprise that the husband was the first to notice this.’
    • ‘I'm usually a light sleeper in unfamiliar situations, so it's not surprising that I would be a little jumpy.’
    • ‘He came through the front door and was surprised that she still didn't come to, since she was a light sleeper.’
    • ‘As a light sleeper, I can only struggle now to find better ear-plugs, or hope to sleep with my window forever open and get used to the outside noises as well.’
    • ‘A light sleeper at all times, Armand had also heard the arrival.’
    • ‘To prepare for any more rough sleepers we need extra sleeping bags and flasks.’
    • ‘A light sleeper, Debbie required frequent attention from her mother, who was also nursing her.’
  • 2A train carrying sleeping cars.

    ‘we were waiting for the Inverness–London sleeper’
    as modifier ‘a sleeper train’
    • ‘I decided on the overnight sleeper train from Bangkok, which meant I could sleep at night and not waste one of my precious days travelling.’
    • ‘The sleeper train to Hue sounded not too savoury, however.’
    • ‘I was travelling on a sleeper train from Istanbul to Belgrade where my passport was stolen after crossing the Bulgarian border.’
    • ‘There's just enough time to buy provisions for the journey before the long dormant sleeper train pulls up.’
    • ‘My experience of sleeper trains spans the globe from Finland to Australia.’
    • ‘I was travelling on the sleeper to Inverness when a man in the compartment pointed to the luggage rack. ‘And what have you got in there?’’
    • ‘The overnight sleeper train from Hanoi to Hué starts off as a giggle, and ends up as an ordeal.’
    • ‘He caught a sleeper train from Cairo to Aden in The Yemen.’
    • ‘We have all been dreading our second overnight sleeper train.’
    • ‘Not long ago I stepped off the overnight sleeper on to the platform at Nice to be revived by a delicious fragrance: the platform was awash with wallflowers.’
    • ‘The £465 per person price includes seven nights' hotel accommodation, one night on a sleeper train, breakfast each day and the services of an experienced guide.’
    • ‘Eleven passengers died when a mystery blaze burned out a carriage of an overnight sleeper train today.’
    • ‘Passengers were stranded aboard the train for more than three hours while a diesel engine was brought to pull the sleeper into Preston Station.’
    • ‘It proved a great adventure and the kids loved the sleeper train.’
    • ‘10 Teams traveled solely by train - for instance in sleepers overnight from New York to Chicago.’
    • ‘A special sleeper train service had been put on; it pulled into York station at 3.32 am, and deposited excited royalists at King's Cross at 7.39 am.’
    1. 2.1 A sleeping car, or a berth in one.
      • ‘Generally, the sleeper carriages were interspersed with lounge and dining cars - so there was a lot of convivialising.’
      • ‘I could see that today's consist included three locomotives, two sleepers, four coaches, a diner, a lounge car, and a baggage car.’
      • ‘Most private cars can accommodate more passengers during the day than overnight, so consider coupling one to a sleeper car for larger groups or to spread the cost among more people.’
      • ‘I immediately noticed that this car was not of the caliber of our original sleeper car.’
      • ‘Most of the troop trains of the Korean era used standard heavyweight sleepers, which were by then surplus to the Pullman pool as lightweight equipment displaced them.’
      • ‘They bought the trains (including sleeper stock) and then realised that this was stupid - flying was quicker and cheaper.’
      • ‘In a sleeper car, several men pass along the hall.’
      • ‘Also acquired were five ex U.S.Army troop box car style sleepers only built in 1944 for World War II use, these were converted into baggage cars.’
      • ‘The consist was essentially the same except that this train had just one sleeper whereas our southbound had two.’
      • ‘There are seventeen cars: two engines, dorm, two sleepers, diner, lounge, three coaches, and seven mail cars.’
      • ‘After dinner, there followed a restless night in the four-berth sleeper listening to the train wheels squealing and screeching.’
      • ‘There are three sleepers on this train, as well as the usual Pacific Parlour, Dining, and Sightseer cars.’
      • ‘Then the 15 leaving were told to go down the steps to the train, coach to the left, sleepers to the right.’
      • ‘At the same time, the elimination of the sleeper berths would mean that a daylight passenger configuration of 21 to 24 seats could be planned.’
      • ‘I left Madrid 20 minutes later in a sleeper car, bound for Lisbon.’
      • ‘Since then the company has found another 35 carriages, a mixture of restaurant cars, sleepers and Pullmans, all of which have been beautifully restored at workshops in England, Belgium and Germany.’
      • ‘The sleepers used on the Canadian are unique to this train, in that each has three types of accommodations and all are alike.’
      • ‘Behind the locomotive is a reefer (refrigerator car) to supply ice for drinking water in the sleepers.’
      • ‘Alas, they had made reservations in the sleeper car for the trip, and I just in a seat, so I was separated from them during the trip.’
      • ‘He was there at about 20 minutes before departure and took another couple and us to the sleeper cars.’
      • ‘It had 2 engines, 3 coaches, lounge car, dining car, 2 sleepers and 6 freight cars.’
    2. 2.2informal A sleeping pill.
      ‘he gave me tranquillizers in addition to the sleepers I was already on’
      • ‘I took the sleeper pill last night and I slept a dreamless sleep.’
      • ‘Also not uncommon was psychological instability resulting from the then common practice of "sleeper" medication.’
    3. 2.3usually sleepersNorth American A sleepsuit for a baby or small child.
      • ‘Knitted fabrics, such as those used in T-shirts, sweatshirts, infant sleepers and sportswear, are examples of unstable fabrics.’
      • ‘To take your baby home put baby in a vest and thick sleepsuit if it's cold.’
      • ‘Now I want to give you a description, I know we put the picture up, but the little boy has black hair, brown eyes, and he was last seen - there he is right there - wearing a red sleeper.’
      • ‘Take one pair of child's sleepers and soak it in warm water.’
      • ‘So we brought her home in a little cute sleeper with a matching hat.’
    4. 2.4North American A sofa or chair that converts into a bed.
      • ‘A sleeper chair (above left) is tufted and skirted in the same plaid taffeta used behind the bed.’
      • ‘Most of the original furnishings had been destroyed in our first mission, and the room was now outfitted to accommodate four sleepers, with some small amount of storage.’
      • ‘Both kinds come in models that can fit either regular sofas or sleepers, as well as easy chairs.’
      • ‘Two hours ago the last piece of furniture left the condo, the sleeper sofa I inherited with the place, an orange relic of the former owners.’
      • ‘The intimate lighting and varnished black sleepers sit easily with a heart-warming pot bellied stove which is an excellent focal point.’
      • ‘A sleeper sofa is the solution chosen by most people in studios, but this limits your options in terms of design, and unmaking and re-making the bed every day can be enough to wear you out.’
      • ‘Then she set up the couch into a double sleeper, made it all up, and when she was finished, Relena had already came out from the bathroom in her night clothes.’
      • ‘Once you decide on the dual purpose of the room, find yourself a nice sleeper sofa.’
      • ‘That night Daniel didn't sleep with me; he slept on the sleeper sofa.’
      • ‘Do I have to get a sleeper sofa, or does anyone still make Murphy beds?’
  • 3A film, book, play, etc. that eventually achieves unexpected success after initially attracting very little attention.

    ‘this low-budget, black-and-white American sleeper concerns two brothers’
    as modifier ‘it became one of the sleeper hits of the year’
    • ‘If these guys get more playing time in the second half, they could be the sleepers who will vault your team to a title.’
    • ‘The film was a sleeper hit and even spawned a low-budget sequel.’
    • ‘Any movie with those much marketing dollars is going to attract more viewers than a little tiny movie that might be hoping for a great sleeper hit thanks to a couple good reviews.’
    • ‘If it is marketed the right way it might become a sleeper hit, though it isn't quite good enough to warrant anything like blockbuster status.’
    • ‘Just as the initial comic book issue became a sleeper success, so too has the silver screen Spider-Man.’
    • ‘This dark red wine is always a sleeper for restaurants that serve char-grilled steaks.’
    • ‘This sequel to the 2001 sleeper hit is a thinly veiled facsimile of the first film.’
    • ‘It is better than most people might think, but not good enough to be a sleeper hit.’
    • ‘For our purposes, we'll consider a sleeper to be any player whose perceived value now is significantly lower than his potential value during this season.’
    • ‘People claimed that the precedent set out by the sleeper hit in 1998 was finally superseded.’
    • ‘This film - and this DVD release - therefore is a sleeper waiting to be discovered.’
    • ‘Yet sometimes when something is missed out on, it can play the role of that special something, the sleeper hit, that only you know about, which is a great thing to have.’
    • ‘Getting big weeks from cheap players not only will boost your points total but will increase your team's bottom line as the dollar values for those sleepers rise.’
    • ‘Avoiding a quiet sleeper of a film like this merely deprives you of an exciting movie experience.’
    • ‘The record became a sleeper hit and in 2003, it spawned a second and third volume, featuring Langford's own artwork.’
    • ‘Virtually unheralded, this relatively low-budget affair is a genuine sleeper - a surprise hit that pays off better than any number of more costly affairs.’
    • ‘It is a documentary on a sort of wheelchair rugby and it is the sleeper hit of the moment.’
    • ‘So if you have a sleeper, don't expect to hit nine figures… make sure you are enormously profitable with less.’
    • ‘It's this interesting concept that made the original Kohan franchise a sleeper hit.’
    • ‘Is he discovering Quebec sovereignty to be a surprise sleeper hit with the electorate of his riding?’
    • ‘DESPITE THEIR sleeper success, the band are still managing to keep their feet on the ground.’
    1. 3.1 An antique whose true value goes unrecognized for some time.
      ‘photographed after it proved to be a sleeper, this Regency table took £8,600 instead of £1,500 as anticipated’
      • ‘Although we were unable to make out a signature, there is a possibility this antique painting could be a genuine sleeper and a real investment for a lucky buyer.’
      • ‘Dealers and collectors love to find a sleeper, and one such is illustrated here.’
    2. 3.2 A secret agent who remains inactive for a long period while establishing a secure position.
      ‘a KGB plot to uncover his sleepers’
      • ‘Now that we have settled on a definition, let's look at how to uncover these sleepers.’
      • ‘He failed, but within a year he had infiltrated America with new teams of sleeper agents ready for one more big push.’
      • ‘The enemy's people are already in place in this country, sleeper agents waiting for the command to strike.’
      • ‘He was inserted as a sleeper agent five years ago.’
      • ‘All Ashcroft ever did was look into if there were any terror sleeper cells.’
      • ‘The Detroit case ended last summer with the convictions, hailed by the Bush administration, of three men who were accused of operating a sleeper terror cell that possessed plans for attacks around the world.’
      • ‘The sleeper agents moved toward parliament as the Guru had instructed them.’
      • ‘I've been told many sleeper agents use it regularly.’
      • ‘Jason was assigned as a guard for the queen while he was a sleeper agent.’
      • ‘Since Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer, took the helm in the Kremlin, Russian intelligence networks in central and western Europe have been rebuilt and secret service sleepers activated.’
      • ‘Thousands of their agents and sleepers existed throughout South Vietnam's Government, armed forces, and security/intelligence organizations.’
      • ‘A staple of the Cold War espionage novels that used to populate best-seller lists was the sleeper agent.’
      • ‘Additionally, years of Soviet occupation left a host of sleeper agents experienced with the region, who still have files on many citizens.’
      • ‘The enemy within is still there, but today it is not communist sleepers that are the concern but the corrosive influence of big business.’
      • ‘The network implants a large number of sleeper agents, free of past suspicious activity, giving the authorities no reason to keep an eye on them until only after they've received their cue to strike.’
  • 4British A ring or post worn in a pierced ear to keep the hole from closing.

    • ‘She clicks on the customer list, pulls up the database of 13,000 stock items, checks availability and starts adding in quantities for rings, studs and sleepers.’
    • ‘There was a brief twinge of pain as she squeezed a sleeper through the needle hole.’
    • ‘The window-dresser pushed her hair back from her face and behind her dainty ears, each pierced with rows of silver sleepers.’
    • ‘He wore a gold sleeper in his left ear, a well-worn, waist-length brown leather jacket, dark blue jeans, a black belt and a gold bracelet.’
    • ‘The man was also wearing a 9ct gold necklace and a gold sleeper earring in his left ear.’
  • 5British A wooden or concrete beam laid transversely under railway track to support it.

    • ‘You can easily tell which wooden sleepers have been replaced with the concrete ones.’
    • ‘Another fundraiser is the sale of rail sleepers.’
    • ‘In 1880 William Eldridge called tenders for carting 80,000 sleepers to Gladstone Railway Station.’
    • ‘Some days ago, Billy had been found prostrate between the steel sleepers of the railroad.’
    • ‘In this case, existing landscape determined the form of the track, not the other way around, and great attention was paid to the design of rails, sleepers and trains to reduce noise.’
    • ‘The rail, the fastening, the sleeper and ballast have to spread the 100-tonne weight of a heavy locomotive throughout the system.’
    • ‘A saw mill built in the early years produced 5,000 railway sleepers and poles for fencing.’
    • ‘The sleepers had never been removed, and the rails, fish-plates and rivets were all ready, for we had taken them from a siding on the abandoned portion of the line.’
    • ‘The need still remains for a survey of permanent way - rails, sleepers and ballast - with a somewhat fuller historical background than the one provided here.’
    • ‘These ranged from missing safety clips that hold the rail in place, missing bolts, cracked sleepers and eroded ballast as well as worn out rails.’
    • ‘Some 6,400 yards of new rail, 12,200 steel sleepers and 31,000 tonnes of ballast were used and brought in by train rather than by road.’
    • ‘Some 1400 kilometres of earthworks need to be completed before it can take the ballast, sleepers and rails.’
    • ‘I chose reclaimed railway sleepers to contain raised beds around the garden.’
    • ‘The news comes just a year after 50 workers were let go from the rail sleeper plant in Knockmay prior to Christmas 2003 in a move that stunned workers.’
    • ‘Thirty point ends and components in another 47 will be renewed, 9,000 sleepers will be replaced and 9,000 metres of track reballasted.’
    • ‘Annually the plant will produce 160 000 cement sleepers mostly for export.’
    • ‘The concrete is poured between the sleepers and over and between the reinforcement.’
    • ‘Rails were welded to sleepers in an operation aimed at providing a smoother, quieter and more reliable journey.’
    • ‘Last week, 80 rivets were also removed from sleepers on a railroad located between the Ban Pa Rai and Ban Kong Sai Railway Stations in Muang District of Pattani.’
    • ‘Supplies such as ballast, rails and sleepers are moved to the site by train.’
    • ‘Trains, protected by railway sleepers and metal plates, were used - also in the Franco-Prussian war when four were fitted out to defend Paris during the siege.’
    • ‘The rails and sleepers were lifted and the track-bed was sold or given to local farmers.’
    • ‘By 1863 some three million tons of rails, sleepers and locomotives had been shipped to India from Britain in around three and a half thousand ships.’
    • ‘We want to grab some weather-beaten sleepers from Irish Rail and then use them to influence the profile and texture of the finished concrete.’
    • ‘Black plastic between the sleepers and the soil will stop any leeching into the soil.’
    • ‘Bolts attaching rails to sleepers (US = ties) are marked with a vertical stripe of paint.’
  • 6A stocky fish with mottled coloration which occurs widely in warm seas and fresh water.

    See also cockabully
    • ‘I'm kind of glad Kyle was such a sound sleeper.’
    • ‘A heavy, deep sleeper, she is.’
    • ‘I have a golden head sleeper and he is extremely territorial of his burrow.’
    • ‘Mason has shown signs of the talent that has many calling him this year's rookie sleeper.’
    • ‘Most fish species cannot tolerate such fluctuations, but some gobies and sleepers have adapted physiologically in ways that have enabled them to thrive.’
    • ‘They are commonly known as sleepers, or gudgeons in Australia and New Guinea, and in New Zealand they are called bullies.’
    • ‘There are some predatory sleeper gobies that get much bigger.’
    • ‘Yet most gobies and many sleepers in the world are marine.’

Pronunciation

sleeper

/ˈsliːpə/