Definition of somnolent in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsämnələnt/


1Sleepy; drowsy.
Example sentences
  • My thesaurus lists all these unattractive equivalents indolent, somnolent, lumpish, torpid, slack, lax, good-for-nothing… and so on.
  • While the Committee was looking at the strange electoral role practices of the family of the somnolent Queensland backbencher, he seemed to have something different to say.
  • But they - like the infamous somnolent dogs of Bucharest streets, like the drab, grey concrete blocks in the suburbs - are not what Romania's future is about.
sleepy, drowsy, tired, languid, dozy, groggy, lethargic, sluggish, enervated, torpid
informal snoozy, dopey, yawny
literary slumberous
quiet, restful, tranquil, calm, peaceful, relaxing, soothing, undisturbed, untroubled
1.1Causing or suggestive of drowsiness: a somnolent summer day
More example sentences
  • Compared to the somnolent and soporific gentility of late nineteenth-century verse, the poetry produced by American writers in the twentieth-century displays a remarkable dynamism.
  • The poem turns out to be notable as much for its spirited adoption of the early twentieth-century's fascination with somnolent states as for a subtle differentiation from the era's norms.
  • Our visit was late summer early autumn, and the garden was somnolent rather than sumptuous.
1.2 Medicine Abnormally drowsy.
Example sentences
  • Clinicians usually expect delirious patients to exhibit agitation or hyperarousal and may overlook the delirious patient who is somnolent or obtunded.
  • Her mental status changed, and she appeared somnolent and lethargic.



Pronunciation: /ˈsämnələns/
Example sentences
  • Twenty-six patients discontinued policosanol because of adverse events, including weight loss, asthenia, and somnolence.
  • The majority of these were side effects commonly attributed to TCA use (i.e. dry mouth, dizziness, tremor, fatigue, somnolence, constipation, etc.).
  • Apnea, snoring, unusual sleeping positions, daytime somnolence, obesity and a patulous uvula with erythema are all associated with obstructive sleep apnea.


Example sentences
  • At the first attempt to induce the magnetic somnolency, the mesmerist entirely failed.
  • Washington today shook off its Summer Sunday somnolency as the capital of a world power with responsibilities born of the war in Europe.
  • He must anticipate the sun in rising, or be whipped severely for his somnolency.


Example sentences
  • What a bare-faced cheek to even contemplate, even somnolently, the possibility.
  • Subsequent scenes demonstrate the striking bareness of life next to this heightened sensual awareness, the contrast perfectly encapsulating Armelle's aching sense of loss, as she somnolently moves through an overcast universe.
  • Played somnolently by Julianna Margulies, she spouts cringe-worthy lines such as ‘I don't understand how you artists live with all this feeling.’


Late Middle English (in the sense 'causing sleepiness'): from Old French sompnolent or Latin somnolentus, from somnus 'sleep'.

  • ‘Causing sleepiness’ rather than ‘sleep’ was the early meaning of this. It goes back to Latin somnus ‘sleep’, which also provides the first element of somnambulist (late 18th century) (with ambulare ‘to walk’ the second element), and the second element of insomnia (early 17th century) ‘lack of sleep’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: som·no·lent

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