Definition of somnolent in English:



  • 1Sleepy; drowsy.

    • ‘All of this passed through my somnolent head in about three seconds, but I simply couldn't be bothered.’
    • ‘Chad Dimpler will be pleased, even if currently somnolent.’
    • ‘I would rather have a president more commanding than somnolent.’
    • ‘But they - like the infamous somnolent dogs of Bucharest streets, like the drab, grey concrete blocks in the suburbs - are not what Romania's future is about.’
    • ‘In front of 1500 striking firefighters at a rally in Glasgow yesterday, the somnolent Prescott was not so much demonised as taunted.’
    • ‘But the reporter's calls obviously stirred up the somnolent possums within Labor and alerted government people to a delicious political opportunity waiting to be had.’
    • ‘An hour later her powerful fingers have done the trick and I am feeling immensely relaxed and deeply somnolent.’
    • ‘To get to their house you pass somnolent cows, grazing sleepily amidst green fields, little rivulets, coconut groves and brightly painted houses.’
    • ‘My thesaurus lists all these unattractive equivalents indolent, somnolent, lumpish, torpid, slack, lax, good-for-nothing… and so on.’
    • ‘It would be frenetic in the day, somnolent at night.’
    • ‘Except the lead character, the somnolent man, a lady and the Alsatian dog, there are no other characters in the film.’
    • ‘The somnolent Hampden conference suddenly started to come alive as he laid into Labour as a waste of space in Westminster.’
    • ‘It is sad that there are ineffective ministers and somnolent bureaucracy giving the people a raw deal.’
    • ‘It wasn't his report ‘ad-libbed to a small, somnolent audience at 6.07’ that did the damage.’
    • ‘While the Committee was looking at the strange electoral role practices of the family of the somnolent Queensland backbencher, he seemed to have something different to say.’
    • ‘I was sick yesterday so spent most of the day catching up with taped TV shows and being generally somnolent.’
    • ‘If you are a parent cursing a somnolent teenager for ignoring your appeals to tidy a bedroom for the umpteenth time this morning then these are the statistics for you.’
    • ‘What is most disappointing is the lack of interest in this matter from the somnolent Australian electorate.’
    • ‘Most of his waking moments were spent rushing to the aid of his somnolent colleagues.’
    • ‘Even the so-far somnolent Karnataka Government couldn't shut its eyes to what was unfolding.’
    sleepy, drowsy, tired, languid, languorous, heavy-eyed, dozy, nodding, groggy, half asleep, asleep on one's feet, yawning
    quiet, restful, tranquil, calm, peaceful, pleasant, relaxing, soothing, undisturbed, untroubled, isolated
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Causing or suggestive of drowsiness.
      ‘a somnolent summer day’
      • ‘At centre stage is not the athlete but the official belonging to somnolent associations.’
      • ‘The lush and extravagant countryside, the somnolent seriousness of the army base and the intense, heavy sunlight had been most disorienting.’
      • ‘A somnolent atmosphere hangs over the entirety of these proceedings, which mainly unfold firmly behind closed doors.’
      • ‘Men and women who lived here ate, walked and talked with a somnolent lassitude, that takes everything for granted.’
      • ‘Clocks made from computer parts, pulp novels and funky record sleeves tick away the slightly dusty afternoon to the somnolent beat of ‘Stand by Me.’’
      • ‘No one - except perhaps a few civil servants - can imagine returning to the somnolent politics of the past.’
      • ‘Well there was a little more activity today in my otherwise somnolent lifestyle.’
      • ‘By her somnolent expression he could see she was still tired.’
      • ‘Cut off this supply of neutrons - deliberately or accidentally - and the reactor reverts to its natural, somnolent state.’
      • ‘I swung my legs off the bed and in a somnolent daze and padded towards my computer.’
      • ‘Our visit was late summer early autumn, and the garden was somnolent rather than sumptuous.’
      • ‘Where there is no pain, I notice legal drugs do an excellent job of tipping you into somnolent bliss.’
      • ‘But there is a problem with entering such a comfort zone - yes, she could do this in her sleep, and sometimes this has a strangely somnolent effect on the reader.’
      • ‘The man already has been discredited by the inexcusable mismanagement of his portfolio and by his spectacularly somnolent performance in the house.’
      • ‘Even though my mind has been awakened from its somnolent state, the body has been subjected to an antipodal experience.’
      • ‘Beyond the fruit trees, the road climbs into long-ago-terraced mountains, passing through several small villages where old men in berets sit in the shade of somnolent stone churches.’
      • ‘Compared to the somnolent and soporific gentility of late nineteenth-century verse, the poetry produced by American writers in the twentieth-century displays a remarkable dynamism.’
      • ‘The poem turns out to be notable as much for its spirited adoption of the early twentieth-century's fascination with somnolent states as for a subtle differentiation from the era's norms.’
      • ‘Another herb called sarpgandha is famous for its somnolent effect, but should be used only under expert supervision.’
      • ‘Along with his haywire fringe of Brillo pad hair, Wright's somnolent nasal drone is the single most recognizable thing about him.’
    2. 1.2Medicine Abnormally drowsy.
      • ‘Her mental status changed, and she appeared somnolent and lethargic.’
      • ‘Clinicians usually expect delirious patients to exhibit agitation or hyperarousal and may overlook the delirious patient who is somnolent or obtunded.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘causing sleepiness’): from Old French sompnolent or Latin somnolentus, from somnus ‘sleep’.