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[uh-sleep] /əˈslip/
in or into a state of sleep:
He fell asleep quickly.
into a dormant or inactive state; to rest:
Their anxieties were put asleep.
into the state of death.
He is asleep.
dormant; inactive.
(of the foot, hand, leg, etc.) numb.
Origin of asleep
before 1000; Middle English o slæpe, aslepe, Old English on slǣpe; see a-1, sleep
Related forms
half-asleep, adjective
quasi-asleep, adjective, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for asleep
  • Grizzlies, which rule the wilderness all summer, are asleep.
  • No student who actually wants to learn something from me is going to fall asleep during my lecture.
  • There have even been times when she has fallen asleep.
  • She trails off and falls asleep, making soft ugh noises occasionally as she drifts down.
  • If it were a song it would be the sort people pay to listen to in order to fall asleep.
  • Every night she would drive around for hours to avoid going home, and then finally get into bed and fall asleep crying.
  • Sometimes when the chief clerk was away or asleep he walked to the window and looked down on the vast anthill activity.
  • He hid out among the gorillas, waiting for me to fall asleep.
  • asleep, but none shall arouse him from that slumber, and warn him that the hour of his many appointments is slipping by.
  • It was bold, a full orchestra, yet somehow the house felt asleep.
British Dictionary definitions for asleep


adjective (postpositive)
in or into a state of sleep
in or into a dormant or inactive state
(of limbs, esp when the blood supply to them has been restricted) numb; lacking sensation
(euphemistic) dead
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for asleep

c.1200, aslepe, o slæpe, from Old English on slæpe (see sleep). The parallel form on sleep continued until c.1550. Of limbs, "numb through stoppage of circulation," from late 14c. Meaning "inattentive, off guard" is from mid-14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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asleep in Medicine

asleep a·sleep (ə-slēp')

  1. In a state of sleep; sleeping.

  2. Numb, as of a limb.

  3. Dead.

  1. In or into a state of sleep.

  2. In or into a state of apathy or indifference.

  3. Into the sleep of the dead.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Idioms and Phrases with asleep


In addition to the idiom beginning with asleep also see: fall asleep
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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