Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To sleep.
  • intransitive v. To be dormant or quiescent.
  • transitive v. To pass (time) in sleep: slumbered the night away.
  • n. Sleep.
  • n. A state of inactivity or dormancy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A very light state of sleep, almost awake.
  • v. To be in a very light state of sleep, almost awake
  • v. To be inactive

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Sleep; especially, light sleep; sleep that is not deep or sound; repose.
  • intransitive v. To sleep; especially, to sleep lightly; to doze.
  • intransitive v. To be in a state of negligence, sloth, supineness, or inactivity.
  • transitive v. To lay to sleep.
  • transitive v. To stun; to stupefy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To grow sleepy or drowsy; begin to sleep; fall asleep; also, to sleep lightly; doze.
  • To sleep; sleep quietly.
  • To be in a state of negligence, sloth, supineness, or inactivity.
  • Synonyms and 2. Drowse, Doze, etc. See sleep.
  • To lay to sleep; cause to slumber or sleep.
  • To stun; stupefy.
  • To cause to be latent; keep as if in a sleeping condition.
  • n. Light sleep; sleep not deep or sound.
  • n. Sleep, especially sound sleep.
  • n. A sleeping state; sleep regarded as an act.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a dormant or quiescent state
  • n. a natural and periodic state of rest during which consciousness of the world is suspended
  • v. be asleep

Etymologies

Middle English slumeren, slumberen, frequentative of slumen, to doze, probably from slume, light sleep, from Old English slūma.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English slomren, slombren, frequentive of slumen ("to doze"), probably from slume ("slumber"), from Old English sluma, akin to Middle High German slumen ("to slumber"). Non-Germanic cognates include Albanian gjumë ("sleep"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Waking up at 2: 30 without the power to fall back into slumber is disconcerting.

    There Is A Line

  • Now his mother, for long absence, had forsworn sleep and given herself to mourning and weeping and wailing, till she fell sick and ate no meat, neither took delight in slumber but shed tears night and day.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Abdullah was a-wearied with watching and wanted to sleep, they also lay beside him on another couch and waited till he wasdrowned in slumber and when they were certified thereof they arose and knelt upon him: whereupon he awoke and seeing them kneeling on his breast, said to them, “What is this, O my brothers?”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Then he laid his sword under his head-pillow and slept; and when he was drowned in slumber Iblis tempted me to slay him; so I arose in haste, and drawing the sword from under his head, dealt him a blow that made his head fall from his body.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Daisy's eyes were closed; the knitted brow had smoothed itself out in slumber; the deep breath told how profound was the need that weakness and weariness had made.

    Melbourne House

  • The result was that one night, about midnight, when the Maharajah had retired and the rest of the palace was wrapped in slumber, the young prince collected a handful of followers, and with his brother

    My Three Years in Manipur and Escape from the Recent Mutiny

  • But on the opening of the busy week, yes, before we had closed our eyes in slumber on the Sabbath night, still more glorious tidings had come to us, and the joyous messages increased as each day brought us nearer to this day of blessed rest.

    The Martyr to Liberty

  • I had not been five minutes in slumber ere the whole amphitheatre was restored to its original perfection, its ruins half rebuilt, its arches, steps, its galleries and vomitories, all complete.

    Rome in the First and Nineteenth Centuries

  • The curse of spiritual slumber is the just punishment of the sin of it, Rom. xi.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume V (Matthew to John)

  • This slumber is short-lived, however, and he's soon woken by his partner - a red-headed Selkie named Keiss.

    VideoGamer.com - All Updates

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  • In a quiet water'd land, a land of roses,
    Stands Saint Kieran's city fair;
    And the warriors of Erin in their famous generations
    Slumber there.

    There beneath the dewy hillside sleep the noblest
    Of the clan of Conn,
    Each below his stone with name in branching Ogham
    And the sacred knot thereon.

    - T. W. Rolleston, 'The Dead at Clonmacnois'.

    March 23, 2009