AskDefine | Define sleeper

Dictionary Definition



1 a rester who is sleeping [syn: slumberer]
2 a spy or saboteur or terrorist planted in an enemy country who lives there as a law-abiding citizen until activated by a prearranged signal
3 an unexpected achiever of success; "the winner was a true sleeper--no one expected him to get it"
4 one of the cross braces that support the rails on a railway track; "the British call a railroad tie a sleeper" [syn: tie, railroad tie, crosstie]
5 a passenger car that has berths for sleeping [syn: sleeping car, wagon-lit]
6 a piece of furniture that can be opened up into a bed
7 tropical fish that resembles a goby and rests quietly on the bottom in shallow water [syn: sleeper goby]
8 an unexpected hit; "that movie was the sleeper of the summer"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. Someone who sleeps.
  2. A saboteur or terrorist who lives unobtrusively in a community until activated by a prearranged signal; may be part of a sleeper cell.
  3. A railroad sleeping car.
  4. rail transport UK A horizontal wooden or concrete structural member that supports and ties together railway lines.
  5. Something that achieves unexpected success after an interval of time.
  6. A goby-like bottom-feeding freshwater fish of the family Odontobutidae. Also "sleeper goby."
  7. A type of pajama for a person, especially a child, that covers its whole body, including their feet.
    Aaron, Devin, Ryan H., Cody, Ryan O., Wade, Lisa and Laura looked so comfy in their sleepers.
  8. A structural beam in a floor running perpendicular to both the joists beneath and floorboards above.
  9. An automobile which, not too quick out of the factory has been internally modified to wretched excess, while retaining a mostly stock appearance in order to fool opponents in a drag race.



someone who sleeps
saboteur or terrorist
railroad sleeping car
horizontal wooden or concrete strucutural member supporting railway lines

Extensive Definition

A sleeper is a person who is sleeping. A daysleeper is a person who sleeps during the day, usually due to working a night shift.
"Sleeper" or "sleepers" may also refer to:


  • Sleeper hit, a work, such as a movie ("sleeper film"), book, or product, that obtains unexpected recognition or success

Film & television




Transportation and construction

  • In rail transport, a name for the sleeping car with beds
  • A railroad tie is also referred to as a "railway sleeper"
  • In road transport, a truck with a sleeping compartment
  • In construction and shipbuilding, a strong internal beam, especially railroad ties supporting rail tracks
  • Sleeper (car), an automobile that has any manner of modified engine, drivetrain, suspension, brakes or other parts, with the goal of improving its original performance, while still maintaining the outward appearance of a stock, factory equipped vehicle; the British term for this is Q-car

Other uses

  • Sleeper is slang for a criminal hired to kill people (put them to sleep) or who has spent time in a correctional facility
  • Sleeper agent, a secret agent left long inactive
  • Sleeper cell, a similar group of agents
  • Sleeper (fish), a perciform fish of the family Eleotridae
  • In business, synonym for sleeping partner
  • Blanket sleeper, a one-piece, footed sleeping garment
  • A type of couch, also known as a fold-out couch or hide-a-bed
  • An earring, originally one designed to be worn at night (ie while sleeping) to keep the hole in a pierced ear open. In the 1960s, small hoops were often used for this purpose, so this term is sometimes used to describe a small hoop earring. Other people use it to refer to the studs commonly used to pierce ears.
  • A Yo-yo trick, "the sleeper"
  • A sleeper is a low inland dike, obsoleted by a new dike closer to the shore
sleeper in Japanese: スリーパー

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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