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’
    • ‘I'm normally a light sleeper, so it was a surprise that the husband was the first to notice this.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A light sleeper at all times, Armand had also heard the arrival.’
    • ‘He came through the front door and was surprised that she still didn't come to, since she was a light sleeper.’
    • ‘He was a lighter sleeper when more people were around, apparently, and woke up while I was walking by.’
    • ‘To prepare for any more rough sleepers we need extra sleeping bags and flasks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She is a light sleeper and sleeping next to me does deprive her of what little sleep she does get.’
    • ‘Homeowners are often light sleepers and armed.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'm usually a light sleeper in unfamiliar situations, so it's not surprising that I would be a little jumpy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'm quite a light sleeper, so even my answering machine taking a message usually wakes me.’
    • ‘Subjects who rated themselves as habitually good sleepers were largely unaffected by the valerian extract.’
    • ‘A light sleeper, Debbie required frequent attention from her mother, who was also nursing her.’
    • ‘She didn't know whether he was a light or heavy sleeper, but apparently, he was a light sleeper.’
    • ‘Nathan had always been the lightest sleeper he had ever known.’
  • 2A thing used for or connected with sleeping, in particular:

    • ‘Only people in sleeper class get this service, by the way.’
    • ‘The train, which has seven second-class sleeper with a pantry car, has 504 seats.’
    • ‘From railway sleepers, it moved into quarries, roads, property and project management.’
    • ‘Alternatively, the Scottish Executive return costs 319 and includes first class travel by sleeper in one direction.’
    • ‘For every sleeper on the 415 kilometre long railway something like ten soldiers died.’
    • ‘It proved a great adventure and the kids loved the sleeper train.’
    • ‘The incident came to light when passengers of a second class sleeper pulled the alarm chaim and stopped the train near the Goraya station.’
    • ‘They travelled by sleeper to Edinburgh and, at weekends, John was a regular visitor to the MacKay household at Finchampstead in Berkshire.’
    • ‘Jo and I had to get up at 9 for a sleeper train to Ho Chi Minh City.’
    • ‘I went upstairs, and unable to find the coach attendant, I began to make my way up towards the sleeper section of the train.’
    • ‘The rear seat folds forward and down making it useable as a sleeper.’
    • ‘A friend's first experience on a sleeper last week got him to London four hours late.’
    • ‘It had three drivers on every trip with a sleeper bunk.’
    • ‘My experience of sleeper trains spans the globe from Finland to Australia.’
    • ‘Not having made it past the wait-list in the air-conditioned sleeper, it seemed the only option to not missing the women's conference we were heading for in Lucknow.’
    • ‘They happen on night sleepers down to the Mediterranean, they happen in hotels and also, it seems, in villas.’
    • ‘The recent addition to the attractions offered to those who prefer to travel to Bangalore by bus is a sleeper coach.’
    • ‘Michael and I were also spending three consecutive nights on trains, but at least the sleeper I had booked on one of them would give us access to a shower.’
    • ‘When I rode the Southwest Chief over the summer there were only two sleepers and two or three coach cars.’
    • ‘I quickly walked in and sat down at a table on the sleeper end of the car.’
    1. 2.1 A train carrying sleeping cars:
      ‘we were waiting for the Inverness–London sleeper’
      [as modifier] ‘a sleeper train’
      • ‘The sleeper train to Hue sounded not too savoury, however.’
      • ‘Passengers were stranded aboard the train for more than three hours while a diesel engine was brought to pull the sleeper into Preston Station.’
      • ‘My experience of sleeper trains spans the globe from Finland to Australia.’
      • ‘I was travelling on a sleeper train from Istanbul to Belgrade where my passport was stolen after crossing the Bulgarian border.’
      • ‘The overnight sleeper train from Hanoi to Hué starts off as a giggle, and ends up as an ordeal.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We have all been dreading our second overnight sleeper train.’
      • ‘There's just enough time to buy provisions for the journey before the long dormant sleeper train pulls up.’
      • ‘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?’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It proved a great adventure and the kids loved the sleeper train.’
      • ‘Eleven passengers died when a mystery blaze burned out a carriage of an overnight sleeper train today.’
      • ‘He caught a sleeper train from Cairo to Aden in The Yemen.’
    2. 2.2 A sleeping car, or a berth in one.
      • ‘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.’
    3. 2.3informal A sleeping pill:
      ‘he gave me tranquillizers in addition to the sleepers I was already on’
      • ‘Also not uncommon was psychological instability resulting from the then common practice of "sleeper" medication.’
      • ‘I took the sleeper pill last night and I slept a dreamless sleep.’
    4. 2.4usually 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.’
      • ‘Take one pair of child's sleepers and soak it in warm water.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So we brought her home in a little cute sleeper with a matching hat.’
    5. 2.5North American A sofa or chair that converts into a bed.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Both kinds come in models that can fit either regular sofas or sleepers, as well as easy chairs.’
      • ‘That night Daniel didn't sleep with me; he slept on the sleeper sofa.’
      • ‘Once you decide on the dual purpose of the room, find yourself a nice sleeper sofa.’
      • ‘Do I have to get a sleeper sofa, or does anyone still make Murphy beds?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A sleeper chair (above left) is tufted and skirted in the same plaid taffeta used behind the bed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The intimate lighting and varnished black sleepers sit easily with a heart-warming pot bellied stove which is an excellent focal point.’
  • 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’
    • ‘People claimed that the precedent set out by the sleeper hit in 1998 was finally superseded.’
    • ‘Just as the initial comic book issue became a sleeper success, so too has the silver screen Spider-Man.’
    • ‘It is better than most people might think, but not good enough to be a sleeper hit.’
    • ‘It's this interesting concept that made the original Kohan franchise a sleeper hit.’
    • ‘This dark red wine is always a sleeper for restaurants that serve char-grilled steaks.’
    • ‘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 these guys get more playing time in the second half, they could be the sleepers who will vault your team to a title.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Avoiding a quiet sleeper of a film like this merely deprives you of an exciting movie experience.’
    • ‘It is a documentary on a sort of wheelchair rugby and it is the sleeper hit of the moment.’
    • ‘The film was a sleeper hit and even spawned a low-budget sequel.’
    • ‘So if you have a sleeper, don't expect to hit nine figures… make sure you are enormously profitable with less.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The record became a sleeper hit and in 2003, it spawned a second and third volume, featuring Langford's own artwork.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This sequel to the 2001 sleeper hit is a thinly veiled facsimile of the first film.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘DESPITE THEIR sleeper success, the band are still managing to keep their feet on the ground.’
    • ‘This film - and this DVD release - therefore is a sleeper waiting to be discovered.’
    • ‘Is he discovering Quebec sovereignty to be a surprise sleeper hit with the electorate of his riding?’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I've been told many sleeper agents use it regularly.’
      • ‘A staple of the Cold War espionage novels that used to populate best-seller lists was the sleeper agent.’
      • ‘Thousands of their agents and sleepers existed throughout South Vietnam's Government, armed forces, and security/intelligence organizations.’
      • ‘Additionally, years of Soviet occupation left a host of sleeper agents experienced with the region, who still have files on many citizens.’
      • ‘The sleeper agents moved toward parliament as the Guru had instructed them.’
      • ‘All Ashcroft ever did was look into if there were any terror sleeper cells.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 4British A ring or post worn in a pierced ear to keep the hole from closing.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The man was also wearing a 9ct gold necklace and a gold sleeper earring in his left ear.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 5British A wooden or concrete beam laid transversely under railway track to support it.

    • ‘In 1880 William Eldridge called tenders for carting 80,000 sleepers to Gladstone Railway Station.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Thirty point ends and components in another 47 will be renewed, 9,000 sleepers will be replaced and 9,000 metres of track reballasted.’
    • ‘Rails were welded to sleepers in an operation aimed at providing a smoother, quieter and more reliable journey.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You can easily tell which wooden sleepers have been replaced with the concrete ones.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Another fundraiser is the sale of rail sleepers.’
    • ‘The rail, the fastening, the sleeper and ballast have to spread the 100-tonne weight of a heavy locomotive throughout the system.’
    • ‘Some 1400 kilometres of earthworks need to be completed before it can take the ballast, sleepers and rails.’
    • ‘Supplies such as ballast, rails and sleepers are moved to the site by train.’
    • ‘Annually the plant will produce 160 000 cement sleepers mostly for export.’
    • ‘A saw mill built in the early years produced 5,000 railway sleepers and poles for fencing.’
    • ‘The rails and sleepers were lifted and the track-bed was sold or given to local farmers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I chose reclaimed railway sleepers to contain raised beds around the garden.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 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.’
    • ‘There are some predatory sleeper gobies that get much bigger.’
    • ‘Most fish species cannot tolerate such fluctuations, but some gobies and sleepers have adapted physiologically in ways that have enabled them to thrive.’
    • ‘Yet most gobies and many sleepers in the world are marine.’
    • ‘They are commonly known as sleepers, or gudgeons in Australia and New Guinea, and in New Zealand they are called bullies.’
    • ‘I have a golden head sleeper and he is extremely territorial of his burrow.’
    • ‘A heavy, deep sleeper, she is.’
    • ‘Mason has shown signs of the talent that has many calling him this year's rookie sleeper.’

Pronunciation

sleeper

/ˈsliːpə/