Word of the Week (WOW) – Somnolent


Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly challenge created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link). It’s a nice post to do and will give you some practise with a dictionary, of which there are several online. Illustrations are by no means necessary, but it’s up to you.

I’m up to the letter S this week, so I’ll be looking for a word beginning with  T next week.

So, here is my WOW for this week:





som·no·lent  [som-nuh-luh nt]

Audio:  HERE

Part of Speech:


Noun: somnolence; somnolency

Adverb: somnolently


1. Drowsy; sleepy (e.g a somnolent river, or a somnolent person)

2. Inducing or tending to induce sleep or sedation; soporific (e.g. a somnolent lesson)



sleepy, drowsy, tired, languid, languorous, heavy-eyed, dozy, noddding, half-asleep, asleep on one’s feet, yawning, lethargic, sluggish,  inactive, enervated, torpid, comatose, slumberous (or slumbrous) soporific.  Informal: snoozy, dopey, yawny


alert, awake,conscious, wakeful, wide-eyed

Word Origin:

1425-75; late Middle English sompnolent < Old French < Latin somnolentus, derivative of somnus (sleep).

Use in a Sentence:

1. After feeding him, Katherine laid her somnolent baby in his cradle:


Sleeeping male baby with arm extended. Author: PinkStock Photos, D. Sharon Pruitt

2. Once we’d crossed to the island, we passed through a number of somnolent villages:

Shanklin old village, isle of Wight, UK. Author: Christophe Finot. Creative Commons

Shanklin old village, isle of Wight, UK. Author: Christophe Finot. Creative Commons

3. (Noun  use) The warmth of the summer’s afternoon, combined with the good food and wine, induced a degree of somnolence in us:


Picnic. Courtesy of Pixabay

4. (Adverb use) The waves lapped somnolently against the shore as we took our evening stroll.

Beach sunset in Cuba. Author: Aaron Escobar. Creative Commons

Beach sunset in Cuba. Author: Aaron Escobar. Creative Commons

If you’d like to see more interesting words, visit Heena’s page:

Word Treasure

About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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17 Responses to Word of the Week (WOW) – Somnolent

  1. I love clicking in the audio and listening to the UK and US pronunciations.

    • milliethom says:

      With some words the difference is quite pronounced, isn’t it? That’s why I picked that particular online dictionary site to link to. Most sites just give one pronunciation – either US or UK. With somnolent the American pronunciation is much softer and, of course, has the longer vowel sounds. The British clipped vowel and brisk pronunciation is very different. I find it fascinating to compare them, too. Thank you for liking that, Dawn. 🙂

  2. Nice and enjoyed the pics. I agree with Dawn: listening to the audio is fascinating.

    • milliethom says:

      Hi Jack. Thank you for the nice comment. 🙂 I got myself a copy of your short stories ebook this morning, so I’ll try to find time to start reading it when I’m in Wales next week. 🙂 I intend to do a post or two about Edward 1 and Welsh castles. Perhaps one on Roman Chester as well. Happy writing.

  3. Bekki Hill says:

    Great word and, as you know, I like them when they sound like they mean what they mean 🙂

  4. exiledprospero says:

    And now you can fully appreciate the binomial nomenclature for the opium poppy: Papaver somniferum.

    And didn’t Dorothy and the lion fall asleep near the field of poppies?

  5. sounds like a good word to know 🙂

  6. I of July says:

    good word written, not sure about oratory 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      Hmmm… it would probably be easier to
      say sleepy or drowsy, but I can’t say I
      hate somnolent, orally. Is it the extra syllable you don’t like – or do you think it sounds a little harsh for a ‘sleepy/languid word?

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