The Alternative English Dictionary: asleep

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Entry definition

asleep etymology From a + sleep pronunciation
  • {{audio-pron}}
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. In a state of sleep; also, broadly, rest. I was asleep when you called. Never disturb a man asleep.
  2. (slang) Inattentive. How could you miss that? Were you asleep?
  3. (of a body part) Having a numb or prickling sensation accompanied by a degree of unresponsiveness. My arm fell asleep. You know, like pins and needles.
    • 2003, Norma L. Bronoski, Nuns Don't Dance, Louisa sat in the car crying, until her foot fell asleep. She shook her foot violently, afraid the numbness would turn to frostbite.
  4. (euphemistic) dead
  • Not used in attributive position.
Synonyms: dormant
  • awake
related terms:
  • asleep at the switch
  • elapse, please

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