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

17 thoughts on “Word of the Week (WOW) – Somnolent

    1. 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. 🙂

    1. 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.

      1. Thank you so much, Millie. Enjoy Wales, such an interesting, beautiful country (at least from the pics I’ve seen) and I am fascinated by castles. Hope you enjoy the short story book: it’s different. 🙂

      2. I’m sure your book is great. I know nothing whatsoever about Arkansas, other than things you’ve put on your posts. My turn to learn, I think. 🙂

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

  2. 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?

    1. I think it’s a useful word. It can be applied to a lot of things, like rivers and small towns/villages, as well as situations involving people. Thank you for the nice comment. 🙂

    1. 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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