half asleep

half asleep


  1. in or into a state of sleep: He fell asleep quickly.
  2. into a dormant or inactive state; to rest: Their anxieties were put asleep.
  3. into the state of death.


  1. sleeping: He is asleep.
  2. dormant; inactive.
  3. (of the foot, hand, leg, etc.) numb.
  4. dead.

adjective (postpositive)

  1. in or into a state of sleep
  2. in or into a dormant or inactive state
  3. (of limbs, esp when the blood supply to them has been restricted) numb; lacking sensation
  4. euphemistic dead

c.1200, aslepe, o slæpe, from Old English on slæpe (see sleep). The parallel form on sleep continued until c.1550. Of limbs, “numb through stoppage of circulation,” from late 14c. Meaning “inattentive, off guard” is from mid-14c.


  1. In a state of sleep; sleeping.
  2. Numb, as of a limb.
  3. Dead.


  1. In or into a state of sleep.
  2. In or into a state of apathy or indifference.
  3. Into the sleep of the dead.

In addition to the idiom beginning with asleep

  • asleep at the switch

also see:

  • fall asleep
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