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4 definitions found
 for somnambulism
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Somnambulism \Som*nam"bu*lism\, n. [Cf. F. somnambulisme. See
     A condition of the nervous system in which an individual
     during sleep performs actions appropriate to the waking
     state; a state of sleep in which some of the senses and
     voluntary powers are partially awake; noctambulism.
     [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: walking by a person who is asleep [syn: sleepwalking,
           somnambulism, somnambulation, noctambulism,

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  44 Moby Thesaurus words for "somnambulism":
     amnesia, beauty sleep, beddy-bye, bedtime, blanket drill, bye-bye,
     catalepsy, cataplexy, catatonic stupor, daydreaming, daze, doze,
     dream state, dreamland, drowse, fitful sleep, fugue, fugue state,
     hibernation, hypnotic trance, land of Nod, light sleep,
     night-wandering, nightwalking, noctambulation, noctambulism,
     noctivagation, repose, reverie, shut-eye, silken repose, sleep,
     sleepland, sleepwalk, sleepwalking, slumber, slumberland, snoozle,
     somniloquy, somnus, stupor, trance, unconsciousness,
     winter sleep

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  SOMNAMBULISM, med. juris. Sleep walking. 
       2. This is sometimes an inferior species of insanity, the patient being 
  unconscious of what he is doing. A case is mentioned of a monk who was 
  remarkable for simplicity, candor and probity, while awake, but who during 
  his sleep in the night, would steal, rob, and even plunder the dead. Another 
  case is related of a pious clergyman, who during his sleep, would plunder 
  even his own church. And a case occurred in Maine, where the somnambulist 
  attempted to hang himself, but fortunately tied the rope to his feet, 
  instead of his neck. Ray. Med. Jur. Sec. 294. 
       3. It is evident, that if an act should be done by a sleep walker, 
  while totally unconscious of his act, he would not be liable to punishment, 
  because the intention (q.v.) and will (q.v.) would be wanting. Take, for 
  example, the following singular case: A monk late one evening, in the 
  presence of the prior of the convent, while in a state of somnambulism, 
  entered the room of the prior, his eyes open but fixed, his features 
  contracted into a frown, and with a knife in his hand. He walked straight up 
  to the bed, as if to ascertain if the prior were there, and then gave three 
  stabs, which penetrated the bed clothes, and a mat which served for the 
  purpose of a mattress; he returned. with an air of satisfaction, and his 
  features relaxed. On being questioned the next day by the prior as to what 
  he had dreamed the preceding night, the monk confessed he had dreamed that 
  his mother had been murdered by the prior, and that her spirit had appeared 
  to him and cried for vengeance, that he was transported with fury at the 
  sight, and ran directly to stab the assassin; that shortly after be awoke 
  covered with perspiration, and rejoiced to find it was only a dream. 
  Georget, Des Maladies Mentales, 127. 
       4. A similar case occurred in England, in the last century. Two 
  persons, who had been hunting in the day, slept together at night; one of 
  them was renewing the chase in his dream, and, imagining himself present at 
  the death of the stag, cried out aloud, "I'll kill him! I'll kill him!" The 
  other, awakened by the noise, got out of bed, and, by the light of the moon, 
  saw the sleeper give several deadly stabs, with a knife, on the part of the 
  bed his companion had just quitted. Harvey's Meditations on the Night, note 
  35; Guy, Med. Jur. 265.  

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