Definition of soporific in English:



  • 1Tending to induce drowsiness or sleep.

    ‘the motion of the train had a somewhat soporific effect’
    • ‘Fort's colourful and amusing prose meanders through picturesque towns and sleepy villages where soporific suppers are served.’
    • ‘When treated with skill, though, it can be sensational, and small quantities added to a soporific bed of Merlot can turn a snooze into a dance.’
    • ‘Police Beat has a dreamlike quality; the strange crimes, quiet voice-over and soporific music meld together into a fascinating - and often comic experience.’
    • ‘Instead, I stood mesmerised by his soporific chanting.’
    • ‘My nerves, still shredded from the bruising motorway journey North, gradually soothed as I lay back in the warm, soporific waters of the outdoor whirlpool, staring at the inky black night sky.’
    • ‘Apart from these obvious attractions, I have always found it difficult to understand the appeal of this leisurely, some might say, soporific sport.’
    • ‘Regretfully, I know no soporific agent to make it all painless so that later on there is only a tiny scar on the skin that would remind one of the process.’
    • ‘And, while coffee prompted psychosis and sleeplessness, cocktails were soporific.’
    • ‘The soporific sound of creaking pine is usually enjoyed naked, with a chilled bottle of beer in one hand and, for authenticity, a leafy birch whisk in the other.’
    • ‘Inactivity is soporific while exercise revives a sleepy brain.’
    • ‘I shook my head and looked down at Shadow, now resting peacefully, the soporific noises of the waterfall lulling him to sleep.’
    • ‘Its concrete surface is the most soporific in the UK, and has been blamed for lulling drivers to sleep.’
    • ‘Or that certain rock records (hello, late seventies?) aren't among the most soporific music ever devised.’
    • ‘Fortunately, the orchestra was not so soporific.’
    • ‘We are sitting through a multitude of soporific briefings.’
    • ‘Black Nielson overshadowed them, with drowsy, soporific vocals, and unexpected twists and turns within each song.’
    • ‘It was the air-con going off that disturbed my slumber once that soporific hum stopped.’
    • ‘His voice is hypnotic, soporific - the kind of voice that could mesmerise you into taking all your clothes off and biting into an onion.’
    • ‘If you've been to Fiji, you've probably been talked into a bowl of kava, a soporific drink made out of the crushed roots of a local shrub and traditionally drunk with coconut cups.’
    • ‘As regards the insomnia I've had lately, I can heartily recommend Somnus, a soporific combination of Lettuce extract and Valerian.’
    1. 1.1Sleepy or drowsy.
      ‘some medicine made her soporific’
      • ‘Those intrusions of the world outside awaken me from my soporific slumber, as I dwell in drowsy numbness, as though of hemlock I have drunk.’
      • ‘The combined talents of Larsson and his English foil were responsible for earning Celtic an early lead, but soporific defending also helped the home cause.’
      • ‘In our sleepy little town where things moved with the soporific gait of undersea vegetation, high fashion made its startling appearance all of a sudden!’
    2. 1.2Tediously boring or monotonous.
      ‘a libel trial is in large parts intensely soporific’
      • ‘Perelman's slow, reverent approach to the material borders on the soporific at times and perhaps a more experienced director might have been able to find the light and shade in the story.’
      • ‘But when she read and when she lectured, it sounded like some soporific narration from the Discovery Channel.’
      • ‘I certainly wouldn't read books if they were boring, irrelevant and soporific - which is how most high school kids regard the classics of world literature.’
      • ‘The pros and cons of this fanciful idea are hard to assess, since he talks in a soporific monotone that renders half of what he says inaudible.’
      • ‘In this it resembles a political speech, written to lull, and, by its soporific cadence and vocabulary, to allow the listener to intuit whatever the hell she wants.’
      • ‘Between each petition was the soporific chorus, ‘Remember, remember.’’
      • ‘‘I have seen far too many soporific PowerPoint presentations that have a lot of power, but no point,’ Brewer has been heard to say, more than once.’
      • ‘In February, a radio reading of Ulysses began with 20 45-minute, perplexing, soporific episodes running through to June.’
      • ‘His butler bosses him, and he spends all day dictating boring letters to other bankers and presiding at soporific board meetings.’
      • ‘The Chancellor has overseen low interest rates, high employment and financial stability for several years, a soporific success story.’
      • ‘I become overwhelmed by waves of ‘couldn't care less-ness’ every time I hear their soporific goo.’
      • ‘No matter what your allegiances - we need a contest of ideas at the next election - and we look like we will get a contest of the soporific, idea-less and boring.’
      • ‘Not sure why Penguin are reissuing Toujours Provence, other than it's 10 years since this soporific fluff was first published.’
      sleep-inducing, somnolent, sedative, calmative, tranquillizing, narcotic, opiate, drowsy, sleepy, somniferous
      boring, dull, deadly dull, monotonous
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  • A drug or other substance that induces drowsiness or sleep.

    • ‘My plan is to reserve soporifics for the bathroom and put all the invigorating stuff in the kitchen.’
    • ‘However, it seems that during the Middle Ages it was the wild L. perennis, perennial lettuce, which was eaten in salads by peasants; while the ancestral prickly lettuce continued to be used medicinally, and as a soporific.’
    • ‘It was used not just for their edification, but also - at least until not too long ago - as a soporific.’
    • ‘Cucumber vines might be trained on the fence, or hopvines, the dried flowers of which were used in making bread and beer, as well as for a pillow filling that was highly regarded as a soporific for insomniacs.’
    • ‘But the All Saints and Enya, although scientifically sound, can be dangerously strong soporifics to many.’
    • ‘Even if you do baulk at some of the more outlandish examples of soporifics cited or quibble with a theory or two, Martin's message is strangely comforting.’
    • ‘Having once driven a Volvo - although not the admirable, if underpowered, 1800 - the Professor has little faith in the Swede's ability to produce anything but soporifics.’
    • ‘The Benzos are not directly soporifics.’
    • ‘When Walter was courting India, he spoke to her one night of Ruskin (she was impressed), but by middle age he reads only mystery novels, ‘as soporifics.’’
    • ‘The rally acted not as a spur to opposition sentiment, but as a soporific.’
    • ‘Prayer was always something of a soporific for her; she prayed at night in bed but was usually asleep long before she said ‘Amen.’’
    • ‘The options menu spared me the torment of the looped piano soporific that they have passed off as background music.’
    • ‘The meal was light - perhaps eggs and a posset (hot milk fortified with sugar, spices, eggs, and wine, brandy, or ale, and on one notable occasion with additional soporifics by Lady Macbeth).’
    • ‘For all the pain and suffering I believe his papacy brought to the world, I hoped his passing was eased with some soporific.’
    • ‘The combination of marriage and motor vehicles is the most potent soporific of them all.’
    • ‘Thinking of a love spell in terms of a chemical or mechanical soporific is missing the point, from my perspective.’
    • ‘That makes it interesting to observers of American culture, but to Americans themselves it is a delightful soporific.’
    • ‘Like an insomniac passing the time, she stares blindly into the artificial luminescence, as though hoping for either a diversion or a soporific.’
    • ‘A local Burmese solidarity group wants you to think twice about the country of origin of your favourite soporific.’
    • ‘Its direction is so unpredictable, you shouldn't expect a general soporific.’
    sleeping pill, sleeping potion, sedative, calmative, tranquillizer, narcotic, opiate
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Mid 17th century: from Latin sopor sleep + -ific.