sleep1 W2S1 [sli:p] v past tense and past participle slept [slept]
1.) to rest your mind and body, usually at night when you are lying in bed with your eyes closed
→↑asleep, oversleep ↑oversleep
I usually sleep on my back.
Did you sleep well ?
Dee was tired out but couldn't sleep.
We both slept badly that night.
The baby slept peacefully in its cradle.
She slept fitfully , disturbed by nightmares.
I couldn't sleep because I was so worried.
We usually sleep late on Sundays.
I slept like a log until morning.
He had hardly slept a wink all night.
He's lucky because at least he has somewhere to sleep .
2.) sleep rough
[i]BrE to sleep outdoors in uncomfortable conditions, especially because you have no money
3.) sleep on it
spoken to not make a decision about something important until the next day
4.) sleep tight
spoken said especially to children before they go to bed to say that you hope they sleep well
Good night, Jenny. Sleep tight!
5.) sleep two/four/six etc
to have enough beds for a particular number of people
The villa sleeps four.
6.) let sleeping dogs lie
to deliberately avoid mentioning a subject, so that you do not cause any trouble or argument
7.) literary if a village, house etc sleeps, it is very quiet during the night
sleep around phr v
to have sex with a lot of different people without having a serious relationship with any of them - used to show disapproval
sleep in phr v
to let yourself sleep later than usual in the morning
We usually sleep in on Sunday mornings.
sleep off [sleep sth<=>off] phr v
to sleep until you do not feel ill any more, especially after drinking too much alcohol
He went to his room to sleep it off .
sleep over phr v
to sleep at someone's house for a night - used especially by children
sleep through phr v
1.) sleep through sth
to sleep while something is happening and not be woken by it
How did you manage to sleep through that thunderstorm?
2.) sleep through (sth)
to sleep continuously for a long time
I slept right through till lunchtime.
The baby slept peacefully through the night.
sleep together phr v
if people sleep together, they have sex with each other
sleep with [sleep with sb] phr v
to have sex with someone, especially someone you are not married to
Everybody in the office knows he's been sleeping with Kathy.
COLLOCATES for sense 1
sleep well/soundly
sleep badly
sleep peacefully
sleep fitfully literary (=keep moving or waking during a sleep)
can't sleep
sleep late (=not get up until late in the morning)
sleep like a log informal (=sleep very well)
not sleep a wink (=not sleep at all)
somewhere/nowhere to sleep
WORD CHOICE: sleep, asleep
You usually use be asleep rather than 'be sleeping' : Her parents were already asleep (NOT already slept/were sleeping).
The verb sleep is used when you are giving more information, for example about how long someone sleeps or where they sleep : The baby sleeps for 12 hours. | He slept in the car.
You usually say fall asleep , not 'start sleeping' : Some students fall asleep (NOT start sleeping/start to sleep) at their desks.
!! Do not say 'feel asleep'.
You can also say someone goes to sleep , especially when they are in bed and want to sleep : I turned the light out and went to sleep.
You use get to sleep when someone has difficulty falling asleep : It took me hours to get to sleep.
sleep 2
sleep2 W3S2 n
1¦(being asleep)¦
2¦(period of sleeping)¦
3 go to sleep
4 lose sleep over something
5 put somebody/something to sleep
6 somebody can do something in their sleep
7 sing/rock/lull etc somebody to sleep
8 send somebody to sleep
9¦(in your eyes)¦
[: Old English; Origin: slAp]
the natural state of resting your mind and body, usually at night
I didn't get much sleep last night.
Sometimes Mike has a hard time getting to sleep (=succeeding in starting to sleep) .
I couldn't get back to sleep (=sleep again after waking up) after he'd rung.
drift/nod/go off to sleep
(=start sleeping)
I'm sorry, I must have dropped off to sleep for a moment.
in your sleep
(=while he is sleeping)
Ed often talks in his sleep.
She died in her sleep later that night.
Her eyes were red through lack of sleep .
a few/a couple of/eight etc hours' sleep
She managed on a few hours' sleep a night.
2.) ¦(PERIOD OF SLEEPING)¦ [singular]
a period when you are sleeping
a light/deep sleep
She was woken from a deep sleep by a ring at the door.
You just need a good night's sleep (=a night when you sleep well) .
a dreamless sleep
have a sleep BrE
Why don't you go and have a sleep?
3.) go to sleep
a) to start sleeping
I went to sleep at 9 o'clock and woke up at 6.
It's nothing, go back to sleep (=sleep again after waking up) .
b) informal if a part of your body goes to sleep, you cannot feel it for a short time because it has not been getting enough blood
4.) lose sleep over sth
spoken to worry about something
It's a practice game - I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
5.) put sb/sth to sleep
a) to give drugs to a sick animal so that it dies without too much pain - used to avoid saying the word 'kill'
b) informal to make someone unconscious before a medical operation by giving them drugs
6.) sb can do sth in their sleep informal
used to say that someone is able to do something very easily, especially because they have done it many times before
She knew the music so well she could play it in her sleep.
7.) sing/rock/lull etc sb to sleep
to sing to someone, move them gently etc until they start sleeping
The movement of the waves soon lulled us to sleep.
8.) send sb to sleep
a) to make someone go to sleep
The combination of warmth and music sent him to sleep.
b) if something sends someone to sleep, it is extremely boring
9.) ¦(IN YOUR EYES)¦[U] informal
a substance that forms in the corners of your eyes while you are sleeping
She rubbed the sleep from her eyes.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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