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

  • adj. Inducing sleep; soporific.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or occurring in the state of intermediate consciousness preceding sleep: hypnagogic hallucinations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. That induces sleep; soporific, somniferous.
  • adj. That accompanies falling asleep; especially, pertaining to the semi-conscious period immediately preceding sleep.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Leading to sleep; -- applied to the illusions of one who is half asleep.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Leading to sleep; inducing sleep; hypnotic.

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

  • adj. sleep inducing


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

French hypnagogique : Greek hupnos, sleep; see hypno- + Greek agōgos, leading (from agein, to lead; see ag- in Indo-European roots).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French hypnagogique, from Ancient Greek ὕπνος ("sleep") + ἀγωγός ("leading").


  • Because the existing word hypnagogic means “of, relating to, or occurring in the state of intermediate consciousness preceding sleep,” and hypnopompic means “of or relating to the partially conscious state that precedes complete awakening from sleep,” many people came up with hyp - coinages.

    Word Fugitives

  • As to her own ordeal, Henry told her there was a name for the strange, shifting images you see just before sleep: they were called hypnagogic hallucinations, and they often occurred in connection with sleep paralysis.


  • The hallucinations produced in this way are called hypnagogic (from its derivation this term is properly applied only to phenomena observed at the instant when we fall asleep, or when we are imperfectly awakened, and not to the period of most perfect repose), and they occur when the subject is not in a condition favorable to sound sleep.

    Hygienic Physiology : with Special Reference to the Use of Alcoholic Drinks and Narcotics

  • Apparently it's called a hypnagogic hallucination (if it happens as you're going to sleep) and a hypnopompic hallucination if it happens as you're waking.

    WalesOnline - Home

  • Episodes frequently occur at sleep onset, termed hypnagogic, or while waking up from sleep, termed hypnopompic (Solomonova).

    Serendip's Exchange -

  • In medical parlance, the twitching is called hypnagogic myoclonus (the first word refers to sleep and the second to muscle twitches).

    Yahoo! Answers: Latest Questions

  • It felt like this was the description of a kind of hypnagogic state, one in which reading was like dreaming and dreaming was like creating.

    A Bit of an Experiment « Tales from the Reading Room

  • The swots call it "hypnagogic", the more commercial-minded are calling it "sugary mutant pop".

    Outer Limits Recordings (No 904)

  • Many people experience this borderland routinely when slipping into sleep -- "hypnagogic" hallucinations. - Current Articles

  • The Head Trip, which discusses various different states of consciousness, and that's where we learned about the hypnogogic (also sometimes spelled 'hypnagogic'), which is the state that your brain passes through on the way from waking to sleeping, "said Yates.

    Midnight Poutine


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  • I insist on the fact that the drawings thus obtained lost more and more, through a series of suggestions and transmutations that offered themselves spontaneously - in the manner of that which passes for hypnagogic visions - the character of the material interrogated (the wood, for example) and took on the aspect of images of an unhoped for precision, probably of a sort which revealed the first cause of the obsession, or produced a simulacrum of that cause.

    Max Ernst "On Frottage" 1936

    October 20, 2008

  • The preferred spelling, according to Wordie's resident etymologist Qroqqa. See note at that second-rate o-heavy spelling hypnogogic.

    September 8, 2008