I'm looking for a very particular word meaning 'to put to sleep'.

There is a verb in French, 'endormir', which is the meaning I'm trying to capture. It functions similarly to 'invigorate' in that it means 'to give vigor to', endormir is a bit like 'to give sleep to' or perhaps 'to render sleeping'.

The closest I found was 'sedate' but that implies a use of sedatives, I think.

I am nearly certain that there is a single word in English that captures this. Something like if 'soporific' was a verb.

Example sentence in French: Ses devoirs l'ont endormi.

Translation: His homework (put him to sleep). (Looking to replace 'put him to sleep' with a single word, something like 'his homework sedated him'.)

Just a single word meaning 'to render sleeping' or 'to put to sleep' is best.

Thanks in advance for your help (:

  • put him to sleep fits perfectly in your sentence. Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 18:31
  • Well, there's "euthanize", but that's probably not the sense of "put to sleep" you're looking for.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 18:41
  • "tranquilize" is a possibility, but again, that has the implication that drugs are involved. Same goes for anesthetize. Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 23:17
  • Sent him to sleep would be better (because, as @HotLicks implies, put to sleep is often used as a euphemism for euthanising an animal. Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 14:28

2 Answers 2


There’s “lull”. The definition at thefreedictionary.com says “1. To cause to sleep or rest; soothe or calm.” But it would normally be used as “it lulled me to sleep”, not just “it lulled me”.

  • And further, lullabied him. Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 20:38

There's quieten, but sleep does not necessarily follow.

When I managed to quieten the baby, she fell asleep right away.

To knock out is a bit extreme, plus to be knocked out is to be unconscious, not asleep. Nevertheless:

I managed to knock her out by reading her favorite fairytale for the umpteenth time.

Euthanize is a stretch, to be sure, but it could be used hyperbolically:

After I put the child to sleep with a lullaby, she slept so soundly you'd think I had euthanized her!

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