What does the idiom "be sound asleep" mean?

Although the meanings of the words in them do not make any sense when examined one by one, the word groups that are shaped according to the cultural roots of the language and that make sense as a whole are called idioms. be sound asleep meaning, in what situations is it used?

Meaning of "be sound asleep"


The idiom to be sound asleep means to be deeply and soundly asleep, so that you cannot be awakened easily. Generally, this phrase is used to describe someone who is sleeping so deeply that they will not or cannot be woken up. It can also be used in a more figurative sense to mean that someone is unaware or oblivious to something, being asleep to the situation.


The phrase “to be sound asleep” is not found in written English until the nineteenth century, when it first appears in the poem “The Kings Grave” by Walter Scott, published in 1850. This phrase is likely derived from the older phrase “to sleep sound,” which dates to the fifteenth century.


The phrase “to be sound asleep” is most commonly used to describe someone who is sleeping so deeply and soundly that they cannot be awoken. It can also be used to describe someone who is oblivious to or unaware of a situation, being asleep to it. Additionally, this phrase can be used to indicate that someone is no longer in a certain state or situation, such as being sound asleep to the idea of their own mortality or sound asleep to their own vulnerability.

Example Sentences

  • He was sound asleep, and no amount of shouting could wake him.
  • She was sound asleep to the fact that she was being taken advantage of.
  • The whole family was sound asleep when the tornado hit.
  • They were sound asleep to the dangers of the situation.

The meanings of the words in the "be sound asleep" idiom

The Surprising Origins of Everyday English Idioms

Many English idioms have surprisingly dark origins, often rooted in violence, death, and superstition. For instance, the phrase "raining cats and dogs" is said to have originated in the 17th century, when heavy rain would often cause dead animals to wash up on the streets. Meanwhile, the idiom "rule of thumb" is believed to have originated from a law that allowed men to beat their wives with a stick no thicker than their thumb.


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