Meaning of “sleeper” in the English Dictionary

"sleeper" in British English

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sleepernoun

uk /ˈsliː.pər/ us /ˈsliː.pɚ/

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

"sleeper" in American English

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sleepernoun [ C ]

us /ˈsli·pər/

a sleeping person:

He is a very light sleeper (= he wakes easily).

A sleeper is also a person or thing that is unexpectedly successful:

We almost gave up on this line of merchandise, but it's a real sleeper – it keeps selling.

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

"sleeper" in Business English

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sleepernoun [ C ]

uk /ˈsliːpər/ us also sleeper hit MARKETING

a product, film, book, etc. that becomes a sudden success, after a period of not being successful at all:

The movie cost only $400,000 to make, and then blew up into a $39 million sleeper.
Her book has been the big sleeper hit of the literary scene.

(Definition of “sleeper” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)