Definition of sleepy in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈslēpē/

adjective (sleepier, sleepiest)

1Needing or ready for sleep: the wine had made her sleepy
More example sentences
  • Your circadian rhythm is regulated by a biological clock in your brain that usually makes you sleepy at night and ready to wake up in the morning.
  • He sat down beside her, holding her hand as she lay down on the couch, already looking sleepy, yet ready to go back home.
  • I awoke much later but kept my eyes closed, I still felt a bit sleepy and wasn't ready to start work just yet.
drowsy, tired, somnolent, languid, languorous, heavy-eyed, asleep on one's feet;
lethargic, sluggish, enervated, torpid
informal dopey
literary slumberous
1.1Showing the effects of sleep: she rubbed her sleepy eyes
More example sentences
  • Lazily, I stood up, stretched my sleepy muscles and went upstairs.
  • ‘I wonder if there's hope out there,’ said Eleto as he stretched and let out a sleepy yawn.
  • Stretching forth her sleepy limbs she yawns in tiredness.
1.2Inducing sleep; soporific: the sleepy heat of the afternoon
More example sentences
  • The incense had been burning for a while now, and the damp cottage was full of the sleepy, hypnotic smell that goes with magical workings.
  • We were all tired; the sleepy effects of night took their toll on us.
  • Cliff's generally most effective when he's most gentle, and this sleepy ballad does its job with smoochy aplomb.
1.3(Of a place) without much activity: he turned off the road into a sleepy little town
More example sentences
  • The Great Winchester Gun Riot of May 1908 almost sounds like a joke, a self-mocking send-up of the usually sleepy county town.
  • The normally sleepy port town of Lüderitz is expected for once to awake from its slumber when President San Nujoma visits the town next week.
  • What propelled Racine from sleepy farm town to 20th-century Florence of the Heartland?
1.4(Of a business, organization, or industry) lacking the ability or will to respond to change; not dynamic: it was once a sleepy subsidiary of Foster & Sykes
More example sentences
  • They ensured that senior staff were rewarded for their efforts and, in 10 years, transformed the firm from a sleepy business into a thriving success story.
  • The shock of being ditched from the stock exchange seems to have worked wonders for its sleepy management and forced it to make changes.
  • They did not fail because management was sleepy or arrogant.



Pronunciation: /ˈslēpilē/
Example sentences
  • It looked so hopelessly harmless, the way it was lying around sleepily.
  • I dawdled by the carriages as the crowds loped sleepily off the train and homewards, frantically scouring the scene for Max.
  • My shriek woke the children, who arrived, sleepily, below the hatch.

Words that rhyme with sleepy

creepy, tepee, weepy

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sleep·y

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.