If its group in the Maghreb has sleeper cells in France, now is the time they may be activated.
Are any of these women superstars in the making—or are they sleeper Martha Coakleys?
Hollywood might possibly fear North Korean sleeper cells capable of blowing up theaters that screen anti-Nork films.
I asked if he thought America's former ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, might be a sleeper agent by this logic.
Sam Brownback—The Kansas Governor might be the sleeper in this race to crazy.
The soft, steady light of the night-lamp shone on the face of the sleeper.
While he was thus engaged, the sleeper, without any starting or turning round, awoke.
This did not arouse the sleeper, so he added force to his hand, at which the other sagged forward limply.
She returned to the sofa and stood looking down at the sleeper.
They could not hear him jerking at the end of the board, freed at last from the sleeper below.
Old English slæpere "one who sleeps, one who is inclined to sleep much," agent noun from sleep (v.). Meaning "strong horizontal beam" is from c.1600. Meaning "dormant or inoperative thing" is from 1620s. Meaning "railroad sleeping car" is from 1875. Sense of "something whose importance proves to be greater than expected" first attested 1892, originally in American English sports jargon, probably from earlier (1856) gambling slang sense of "unexpected winning card." Meaning "spy, enemy agent, terrorist etc. who remains undercover for a long time before attempting his purpose" first attested 1955, originally in reference to communist agents in the West.
[entry form 1941+, second 1972+, third 1970s+; fr the late 1600s British sleasie, ''thin, flimsy, threadbare,'' of uncertain origin, whence it came to mean ''of inferior workmanship, shoddy''; perhaps fr Sleasie, ''Silesian,'' used of linen cloth from that part of Germany]