Somnolence is a sleepy state. New parents often stagger through their days in somnolence, after spending their nights up with a baby who only sleeps for a few hours at a time.

Use the noun somnolence when you're talking about drowsiness. You might be overcome with somnolence in a boring class, especially if you didn't get much sleep the night before. Also, someone who seems to be out of it, going through life like a sleepwalker can be described as experiencing somnolence, which comes from the Latin word somnolentia, sleepiness.

Definitions of somnolence

n a very sleepy state

drowsiness, sleepiness
sleeplessness, wakefulness
a temporary state in which you are unable (or unwilling) to sleep
oscitance, oscitancy
drowsiness and dullness manifested by yawning
Type of:
temporary state
a state that continues for a limited time

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