Meaning of “asleep” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"asleep" in British English

See all translations

asleepadjective [ after verb ]

uk /əˈsliːp/ us /əˈsliːp/

B1 sleeping or not awake:

I'm surprised to see you awake - ten minutes ago you were fast/sound (= completely) asleep.
I've only just got up and I'm still half asleep (= not completely awake).

If your arm or leg is asleep, it cannot feel anything because it has been in the same position for so long.

fall asleep

to start to sleep:

I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

More examples

  • We fell asleep on the train and woke up to find ourselves in Calais.
  • He waited until his daughter was asleep, then tiptoed quietly out of the room.
  • The film was so boring I fell asleep.
  • He'd spent the entire journey asleep.
  • She slipped between the cool cotton sheets and was soon asleep.

(Definition of “asleep” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"asleep" in American English

See all translations

asleepadjective [ not gradable ]

us /əˈslip/

sleeping or not awake:

I fell asleep (= began to sleep) while watching television.
I didn’t hear the phone – I was fast/sound asleep (= sleeping and not easily woken).

If your arm or leg is asleep, you have no feeling there because the flow of blood to that part has been reduced by being in the same position for too long.

(Definition of “asleep” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)