Rip Van Winkle

Rip Van Winkle

[rip van wing-kuhl]
noun
1.
(in a story by Washington Irving) a ne'er-do-well who sleeps 20 years and upon waking is startled to find how much the world has changed.
2.
(italics) the story itself, published in The Sketch Book (1819).
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World English Dictionary
Rip Van Winkle (ˈrɪp væn ˈwɪŋkəl)
 
n
1.  a person who is oblivious to changes, esp in social attitudes or thought
2.  a person who sleeps a lot
 
[C19: from a character who slept for 20 years, in a story (1819) by Washington Irving (1783--1859), US writer]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

Rip Van Winkle
"person out of touch with current conditions," 1829, from name of character in Washington Irving's "Sketch Book" (1819-20).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

“Rip Van Winkle” definition


(1819) A story by Washington Irving. The title character goes to sleep after a game of bowling and much drinking in the mountains with a band of dwarves. He awakens twenty years later, an old man. Back home, Rip finds that all has changed: his wife is dead, his daughter is married, and the American Revolutionary War has taken place.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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