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

  • adj. In a state of sleep; sleeping.
  • adj. Inactive; dormant.
  • adj. Indifferent: politicians who are asleep to the needs of their constituents.
  • adj. Numb, especially from reduced circulation of blood to a limb: My leg is asleep.
  • adj. Dead.
  • adv. In or into a state of sleep.
  • adv. In or into a state of apathy or indifference.
  • adv. Into a state of numbness.
  • adv. Into the sleep of the dead.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. In a state of sleep; also, broadly, resting.
  • adj. Inattentive.
  • adj. Having a numb or prickling sensation accompanied by a degree of unresponsiveness.
  • adj. dead

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • In a state of sleep; in sleep; dormant.
  • In the sleep of the grave; dead.
  • Numbed, and, usually, tingling.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In or into a state of sleep: as, to fall asleep.
  • Figuratively— Dead; in or into a state of death: chiefly in the Scriptures and religious literature.
  • Dormant; inactive; idle.
  • Having a peculiar numb feeling, accompanied by or passing off with a prickly tingling sensation.
  • Nautical, said of sails when the wind is just strong enough to distend them and prevent them from shaking.

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

  • adv. in the sleep of death
  • adv. into a sleeping state
  • adj. dead
  • adj. lacking sensation
  • adj. in a state of sleep


From a- (“in, on”) +‎ sleep (Wiktionary)



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  • "In the early light the sea is blue-black like ink. Kidgell is carefully folding his blankets into a mess, 'I haven't slept that well for years.'
    'How do you know?' I said. 'You were asleep.'"
    - Spike Milligan, 'Mussolini: My Part In His Downfall.'

    April 18, 2009