1. <operating system, multitasking> (Or "block") When a process on a multitasking system asks the scheduler to deactivate it until some given external event (e.g. an interrupt or a specified time delay) occurs.

The alternative is to poll or "busy wait" for the event but this uses processing power.

Also used in the phrase "sleep on" (or "block on") some external event, meaning to wait for it.

E.g. the Unix command of the same name which pauses the current process for a given number of seconds.

2. <computer hardware> To go into partial deactivation to save power.

(01 May 2000)

SLD resolution, SLE, sled, sleek, sleekness < Prev | Next > sleep, sleep apnoea, sleep apnoea syndrome

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A natural and healthy, but temporary and periodical, suspension of the functions of the organs of sense, as well as of those of the voluntary and rational soul; that state of the animal in which there is a lessened acuteness of sensory perception, a confusion of ideas, and a loss of mental control, followed by a more or less unconscious state. "A man that waketh of his sleep." "O sleep, thou ape of death." (Shak)

Sleep is attended by a relaxation of the muscles, and the absence of voluntary activity for any rational objects or purpose. The pulse is slower, the respiratory movements fewer in number but more profound, and there is less blood in the cerebral vessels. It is susceptible of greater or less intensity or completeness in its control of the powers.

<botany> Sleep of plants, a state of plants, usually at night, when their leaflets approach each other, and the flowers close and droop, or are covered by the folded leaves.

Synonyms: Slumber, repose, rest, nap, doze, drowse.

Origin: AS. Slp; akin to OFries. Slp, OS. Slap, D. Slaap, OHG. Slaf, G. Schlaf, Goth. Slps. See Sleep.

(01 Mar 1998)

SLE, sled, sleek, sleekness, sleep < Prev | Next > sleep apnoea, sleep apnoea syndrome, sleep-at-noon

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