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.
sleeping: He is asleep.
dormant; inactive.
(of the foot, hand, leg, etc.) numb.

before 1000; Middle English o slæpe, aslepe, Old English on slǣpe; see a-1, sleep

half-asleep, adjective
quasi-asleep, adjective, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
asleep (əˈsliːp)
1.  in or into a state of sleep
2.  in or into a dormant or inactive state
3.  (of limbs, esp when the blood supply to them has been restricted) numb; lacking sensation
4.  euphemistic dead

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-12c., from O.E. on slæpe. The parallel form on sleep continued until c.1550. Of limbs, from late 14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with asleep, also see fall asleep.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
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.
Idioms & Phrases
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