Definitions

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

  • adj. Drowsy; sleepy.
  • adj. Inducing or tending to induce sleep; soporific.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Drowsy or sleepy.
  • adj. Causing literal or figurative sleepiness; soporific.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Sleepy; drowsy; inclined to sleep.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Sleepy; drowsy; inclined to sleep; sluggish.

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

  • adj. inclined to or marked by drowsiness

Etymologies

Middle English sompnolent, from Old French, from Latin somnolentus : somnus, sleep; see swep- in Indo-European roots + -olentus, abounding in.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1615. From French somnolent, from Old French sompolent, subsequently from Latin somnolentus, Latin somnus ("sleep"), Proto-Indo-European *swépnos, *súpnos (“dream”), which both are derived from Proto-Indo-European *swep-. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Especially did he love to lie on his back and have his sleek, cream-coloured throat stroked gently while he purred in somnolent satisfaction.

    Rilla of Ingleside

  • Also, the patient was getting a little somnolent, which is never a good sign when you are worried about hypoxemia / hypercarbia, so I figured it would be best if a nurse accompanied her.

    code blog - tales of a nurse

  • Now I have to look up "somnolent" in the dictionary.

    Petzal's Picks For New Hunting Fashions

  •  It means tired and lazy-sort of like "somnolent".

    He's Sarcastic

  • S----, a comfortable place very slightly disturbed by the fact that it had been already the scene of four battles; there was just this effect, as it seemed to me, that the affairs of the day were carried on with a kind of somnolent indifference ....

    The Dark Forest

  • It did not come; but I fell into a kind of somnolent state, in which I suddenly felt as though I were sinking in swiftly flowing water.

    My Life — Volume 2

  • In contrast to Meg Whitman, whose Friday night speech to delegates may be found in the dictionary under "somnolent," Fiorina's talk was energetic, punchy and well-crafted.

    FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog

  • It isn't the weight of history I feel when I look at his ­paintings: it's a kind of somnolent,

    The Guardian World News

  • Or maybe the burlesquing hepcat Spaniards will roll one by the somnolent Coasters. shedders on 9 May 2010

    Pop World Cup 2010: Round of 16 Match 8 – Spain 1 Cote d’Ivoire 0 | FreakyTrigger

  • But spending more is the one thing Obama cannot do, because of the deals House and Senate Republicans have forced on him, and because of a typically passive, somnolent media that does not have nerve enough to come out and call it like it is.

    Robert Davey: Straitjacketed Obama

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