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[see-es-tuh] /siˈɛs tə/
a midday or afternoon rest or nap, especially as taken in Spain and Latin America.
Origin of siesta
1645-55; < Spanish < Latin sexta (hōra) the sixth (hour), midday Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for siesta
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This was in the commandante's hut, during the burning hours of the siesta, and ten days after the arrival of the widow.

    Caybigan James Hopper
  • "They're going into the Saint's Pool to have a siesta," said Vere.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • Having got rid of us, the curé hurried back to his siesta, and we strolled round the church.

    Barn and the Pyrenees Louisa Stuart Costello
  • I'm afraid to speak to the servants—they are making the siesta.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • So the men lay down for their siesta, and I was standing by my horse looking over the campo.

    Out on the Pampas G. A. Henty
  • Is there no sombra where we can eat our lunch and take a siesta?

    Mexico Charles Reginald Enock
  • He was now enjoying his siesta after his banquet by reading an editorial in the Kurier.

    The Goose Man Jacob Wassermann
  • What cry was that which startles the seraglio from its siesta?

  • But what do the poor children of Porto Rico do, while Manuel is taking his "siesta," as the afternoon nap is called?

    Our Little Porto Rican Cousin Mary Hazelton Wade
British Dictionary definitions for siesta


a rest or nap, usually taken in the early afternoon, as in hot countries
Word Origin
C17: from Spanish, from Latin sexta hōra the sixth hour, that is, noon
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 siesta

"mid-day nap," 1650s, from Spanish siesta, from Latin sexta (hora) "sixth (hour)," the noon of the Roman day (coming six hours after sunrise), from sexta, fem. of sextus "sixth" (see Sextus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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