sleepsleep2 ●●● S2 W3 noun 🔊 🔊 1 being asleep [uncountable]HBHSLEEP the natural state of resting your mind and body, usually at night → beauty sleep 🔊 I didn’t get much sleep last night. 🔊 Her eyes were red through lack of sleep.in your sleep (=while sleeping) 🔊 Ed often talks in his sleep. 🔊 She died peacefully in her sleep.2 period of sleeping [singular]SLEEP a period when you are sleeping 🔊 I had a little sleep in the afternoon. 🔊 She was woken from a deep sleep by a ring at the door.3 → go to sleep4 → lose sleep over something5 → put somebody/something to sleep6 → somebody can do something in their sleep7 → send somebody to sleep8 in your eyes [uncountable] informalHBH a substance that forms in the corners of your eyes while you are sleeping 🔊 She rubbed the sleep from her eyes.9 → 3/5/8 etc sleeps until/till somethingCOLLOCATIONS – Meanings 1 & 2verbsgo to sleep (=start sleeping)He turned over and went to sleep.drift/drop off to sleep (=start sleeping, especially without meaning to)She’d drifted off to sleep on the sofa.get to sleep (=succeed in starting to sleep)Last night I couldn’t get to sleep.go back/get back to sleep (=sleep again after waking up)He shut his eyes and went back to sleep.send somebody to sleep (=make someone start sleeping)She hoped the music would send her to sleep.get some sleep (=sleep for a while)You’d better get some sleep.have a sleep British English (=sleep for a short while)Are you going to have a sleep after lunch today?catch up on some sleep (=sleep after not having enough sleep)I suggest you try and catch up on some sleep.sing/rock/lull somebody to sleep (=make someone sleep by singing etc)She was usually able to rock the baby back to sleep quite quickly.adjectivesa long sleepHe needed a decent meal and a long sleep.a little/short sleepI always have a little sleep in the afternoon.a deep/sound/heavy sleep (=a sleep from which you cannot easily be woken)The noise woke him from a deep sleep.a light sleep (=a sleep from which you can easily be woken)I fell into a light sleep.a dreamless sleep (=in which you do not dream)She fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.an exhausted sleep (=because you were very tired)He finally woke from an exhausted sleep.a fitful/restless/uneasy sleep (=in which you keep moving or waking)My alarm woke me from a fitful sleep.phrasesa good night’s sleep (=when you sleep well)I woke up refreshed after a good night’s sleep.five/eight etc hours’ sleepAfter eight hours’ sleep, I woke up in pitch blackness.drift in and out of sleep (=keep almost waking up)I lay in the garden, drifting in and out of sleep.cry yourself to sleep (=cry until you fall asleep)I used to cry myself to sleep every night.fall into a deep/long etc sleep (=start sleeping deeply, for a long time etc)He lay down on his bed and fell into a deep sleep.wake/be woken from a deep/long etc sleepA very long time later I woke from a deep sleep.COMMON ERRORS ► Don’t say ‘go sleep’. Say go to sleep.THESAURUSsleep the natural state of resting your mind and body, when your eyes are closed and you do not notice anything happening around youI hardly got any sleep at all last night.He woke suddenly from a deep sleep.slumber/slumbers literary sleepShe fell into an uneasy slumber.He awoke from his slumbers.shut-eye informal especially humorous sleepI really need to get some shut-eye.doze a period in which you sleep lightly, especially when you are not in your bedEdward was so tired he fell into a doze on the settee.snooze informal a short period when you sleep lightly, especially when you are not in your bedHe decided to have a snooze on the sofa while he was waiting for the others to get ready.nap a short sleep, especially during the dayHe’s taking a nap.Helen put the baby down for a nap after lunch.forty winks informal a short sleep, especially during the dayI’m just going to have forty winks.I felt a lot better after I had had forty winks.
Examples from the Corpussleep• A sudden noise on the street woke Eileen from a deep sleep.• Katie sometimes talks in her sleep.• Her sleep had been very disturbed.• Grandad died peacefully in his sleep.• Lumberjack sprawled on the tiles at her feet, whining softly in his sleep like a damp log on a fire.• Eight hours' sleep a night is enough for most people.• I don't suppose you got much sleep last night.• Easy, do it in my sleep.• Mike came up on Wednesday night after virtually no sleep since leaving my house on Monday at 3.30 am.• Depending on the amount of sleep you get every night, you can experience anywhere from four to six sleep cycles.• He had already dropped into the depths of sleep.• Depression can be caused simply by a lack of sleep.• A lot of mineralization is needed to create a sedative effect, calm the nerves and promote sound sleep.in your sleep• In these early weeks of her dying, Sycorax slept, and in her sleep, cried out.• He stirred and took a deep breath in his sleep.• But Lafferty enjoyed that wealth only a short time, dying in his sleep Nov. 4.• The heat makes them nervous and jumpy, even in their sleep.• Carol was dying, and he cried out in his sleep and sat up trembling with cold sweats in the heat.• You got no right tying up people in their sleep.• She'd thought it was Anna, snuffling in her sleep or from grief.• She was beginning to hear that strident, angry voice in her sleep.