Definition of somnolent in English:



  • 1Sleepy; drowsy.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The somnolent Hampden conference suddenly started to come alive as he laid into Labour as a waste of space in Westminster.’
    • ‘It wasn't his report ‘ad-libbed to a small, somnolent audience at 6.07’ that did the damage.’
    • ‘Even the so-far somnolent Karnataka Government couldn't shut its eyes to what was unfolding.’
    • ‘Chad Dimpler will be pleased, even if currently somnolent.’
    • ‘To get to their house you pass somnolent cows, grazing sleepily amidst green fields, little rivulets, coconut groves and brightly painted houses.’
    • ‘In front of 1500 striking firefighters at a rally in Glasgow yesterday, the somnolent Prescott was not so much demonised as taunted.’
    • ‘What is most disappointing is the lack of interest in this matter from the somnolent Australian electorate.’
    • ‘My thesaurus lists all these unattractive equivalents indolent, somnolent, lumpish, torpid, slack, lax, good-for-nothing… and so on.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Most of his waking moments were spent rushing to the aid of his somnolent colleagues.’
    • ‘I was sick yesterday so spent most of the day catching up with taped TV shows and being generally somnolent.’
    • ‘It is sad that there are ineffective ministers and somnolent bureaucracy giving the people a raw deal.’
    • ‘Except the lead character, the somnolent man, a lady and the Alsatian dog, there are no other characters in the film.’
    • ‘All of this passed through my somnolent head in about three seconds, but I simply couldn't be bothered.’
    • ‘It would be frenetic in the day, somnolent at night.’
    • ‘An hour later her powerful fingers have done the trick and I am feeling immensely relaxed and deeply 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.’
    • ‘I would rather have a president more commanding than somnolent.’
    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
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    1. 1.1Causing or suggestive of drowsiness.
      ‘a somnolent summer day’
      • ‘At centre stage is not the athlete but the official belonging to somnolent associations.’
      • ‘Another herb called sarpgandha is famous for its somnolent effect, but should be used only under expert supervision.’
      • ‘A somnolent atmosphere hangs over the entirety of these proceedings, which mainly unfold firmly behind closed doors.’
      • ‘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 lush and extravagant countryside, the somnolent seriousness of the army base and the intense, heavy sunlight had been most disorienting.’
      • ‘Cut off this supply of neutrons - deliberately or accidentally - and the reactor reverts to its natural, somnolent state.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Along with his haywire fringe of Brillo pad hair, Wright's somnolent nasal drone is the single most recognizable thing about him.’
      • ‘Where there is no pain, I notice legal drugs do an excellent job of tipping you into somnolent bliss.’
      • ‘I swung my legs off the bed and in a somnolent daze and padded towards my computer.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘Our visit was late summer early autumn, and the garden was somnolent rather than sumptuous.’
      • ‘No one - except perhaps a few civil servants - can imagine returning to the somnolent politics of the past.’
      • ‘Even though my mind has been awakened from its somnolent state, the body has been subjected to an antipodal experience.’
      • ‘By her somnolent expression he could see she was still tired.’
      • ‘The man already has been discredited by the inexcusable mismanagement of his portfolio and by his spectacularly somnolent performance in the house.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Men and women who lived here ate, walked and talked with a somnolent lassitude, that takes everything for granted.’
      • ‘Well there was a little more activity today in my otherwise somnolent lifestyle.’
    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.