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[drou-zee] /ˈdraʊ zi/
adjective, drowsier, drowsiest.
half-asleep; sleepy.
marked by or resulting from sleepiness.
dull; sluggish.
inducing lethargy or sleepiness:
drowsy spring weather.
Origin of drowsy
1520-30; drowse + -y1
Related forms
drowsily, adverb
drowsiness, noun
1. somnolent, dozy. 3. lethargic, listless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for drowsiness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was principally occupied in struggling against cold, and drowsiness.

  • He apologised for his drowsiness; but said that he was so sleepy that he must retire.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • There were long intervals sometimes when the heat overpowered the child with drowsiness.

    Travelers Five Along Life's Highway Annie Fellows Johnston
  • "That accounts for his drowsiness," muttered he, between his teeth.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore Charles James Lever
  • He yawned, stretched himself carefully, and made a determined effort to overcome his drowsiness.

    The Pit Prop Syndicate Freeman Wills Crofts
  • The devil of drowsiness is at his most potent, we find, about 10:30 p. m.

    Pipefuls Christopher Morley
  • Jim Podmore's drowsiness coming upon him powerfully here, he had as much as he could do to keep himself awake.

    London's Heart B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • This isn't so bad, he thought, and there was something like surprise through the drowsiness.

    Space Prison Tom Godwin
  • She came forward, slightly overcome by drowsiness; but the sight she saw woke her up effectually.

British Dictionary definitions for drowsiness


adjective drowsier, drowsiest
heavy with sleepiness; sleepy
inducing sleep; soporific
sluggish or lethargic; dull
Derived Forms
drowsily, adverb
drowsiness, noun
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 drowsiness



1520s, probably ultimately from Old English drusan, drusian "sink," also "become languid, slow, or inactive" (related to dreosan "to fall"), from Proto-Germanic *drus- (see dreary). But there is no record of it in Middle English. Related: Drowsily; drowsiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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drowsiness in Medicine

drowsiness drows·i·ness (drou'zē-nĭs)
A state of impaired awareness associated with a desire or inclination to sleep. Also called hypnesthesia.

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