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 Dictionary entry overview: What does asleep mean? 

ASLEEP (adjective)
  The adjective ASLEEP has 3 senses:

1. in a state of sleep
2. lacking sensation
3. dead

  Familiarity information: ASLEEP used as an adjective is uncommon.

ASLEEP (adverb)
  The adverb ASLEEP has 2 senses:

1. into a sleeping state
2. in the sleep of death

  Familiarity information: ASLEEP used as an adverb is rare.

 Dictionary entry details 

ASLEEP (adjective)

Sense 1asleep [BACK TO TOP]


In a state of sleep

Context examples:

were all asleep when the phone rang / fell asleep at the wheel


unawakened (still asleep)

slumberous; slumbery; slumbrous; somnolent (inclined to or marked by drowsiness)

sleepy; sleepy-eyed; sleepyheaded (ready to fall asleep)

hypnoid (of or relating to a state of sleep or hypnosis)

fast asleep; sound asleep (sleeping deeply)

dozy; drowsing; drowsy (half asleep)

dormant; hibernating; torpid (in a condition of biological rest or suspended animation)

at rest (in a state of repose or especially sleep)


incognizant; unaware ((often followed by 'of') not aware)

unconscious (not conscious; lacking awareness and the capacity for sensory perception as if asleep or dead)


awake (not in a state of sleep; completely conscious)

Sense 2asleep [BACK TO TOP]


Lacking sensation


benumbed; numb; asleep

Context examples:

my foot is asleep / numb with cold


insensible (incapable of physical sensation)

Sense 3asleep [BACK TO TOP]




at peace; deceased; at rest; asleep; departed; gone

Context examples:

he is deceased / our dear departed friend


dead (no longer having or seeming to have or expecting to have life)

Domain usage:

euphemism (an inoffensive expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive)

ASLEEP (adverb)

Sense 1asleep [BACK TO TOP]


Into a sleeping state

Context example:

he fell asleep


asleep (in a state of sleep)

Sense 2asleep [BACK TO TOP]


In the sleep of death


asleep (dead)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"No hoof, no horse." (English proverb)

"Sharing and giving are the ways of God." (Native American proverb, Sauk)

"The white penny will become useful in your dark days." (Arabic proverb)

"He who wins the first hand, leaves with only his pants in hand." (Corsican proverb)

 ASLEEP: related words searches 

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