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[sluhm-ber] /ˈslʌm bər/
verb (used without object)
to sleep, especially lightly; doze; drowse.
to be in a state of inactivity, negligence, quiescence, or calm:
Vesuvius is slumbering.
verb (used with object)
to spend or pass (time) in slumbering (often followed by away, out, or through):
to slumber the afternoon away.
to dispel or forget by slumbering (often followed by away):
to slumber cares away.
Sometimes, slumbers. sleep, especially light sleep.
a period of sleep, especially light sleep.
a state of inactivity, quiescence, etc.
Origin of slumber
1175-1225; (v.) Middle English slumeren, frequentative of slumen to doze, derivative of Old English slūma sleep (see -er6); compare German schlummern; (noun) Middle English slomur, slomber, derivative of the v.
Related forms
slumberer, noun
slumberless, adjective
unslumbering, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for slumber
  • Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep.
  • Ideally, a patient's sleep during the study should mimic his or her typical slumber as closely as possible.
  • Lone sleepers typically don't know they suffer from sleep apnea, unless their own snores completely blast them out of slumber.
  • It gives them free products and everything they need to organise a slumber party with their friends to try them out.
  • Set it up for slumber parties, outdoor movies, and general fun.
  • Minimalist backpacking tents work fine during slumber but can leave you fighting claustrophobia during waking hours.
  • And people are willing to try anything to achieve that solid slug of slumber.
  • He wanted a rigorous regimen to rouse his body from its winter slumber.
  • With stock prices down in bear-market territory, private equity is still in a slumber.
  • The events leading to the accident, which happened as a slumber party spilled into its second night, began early in the weekend.
British Dictionary definitions for slumber


(intransitive) to sleep, esp peacefully
(intransitive) to be quiescent or dormant
(transitive) foll by away. to spend (time) sleeping
(sometimes pl) sleep
a dormant or quiescent state
Derived Forms
slumberer, noun
slumberless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English slūma sleep (n); related to Middle High German slummeren, Dutch sluimeren
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 slumber

mid-14c. alteration of slumeren (mid-13c.), frequentative form of slumen "to doze," probably from Old English sluma "light sleep" (cf. Middle Dutch slumen, Dutch sluimeren, German schlummern "to slumber"). Frequentative on the notion of "intermittent light sleep." For the -b-, cf. number, lumber, chamber, etc. Related: Slumbered; slumbering.


mid-14c., from slumber (v.). Slumber party first recorded 1942. Slumberland is from 1875.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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