Can you guess what “Dormirse en los laureles” means in Spanish?

If you like Spanish idiomatic expressions, “Dormirse en los laureles” is a very nice one.

Every time we come across an idiom, understanding its meaning is a big challenge.

But these expressions never let us down!

They are always interesting and stimulate our curiosity.

Moreover, they often refer to a nice story, which is necessary to deeply understand the idiom.

So when do we use “dormirse en los laureles“?

It is very common when someone stops making any effort to succeed basking in the memory of past achievements.

For example, it can be used if a student gets good marks and stops studying or if someone feels too confident because of the past success and doesn’t work hard anymore.

Literally, it means “to fall asleep in the laurels” and corresponds to the English “to rest on one’s laurels”.

Why does it refer to laurels?

Because laurels were the symbol of success: Greek and Roman leaders used to wear it to celebrate their military victories.

During the Middle Age they were given to those who reached high levels of education.

In some countries this custom still exists, for example when a student graduates!

Let’s go through some examples!

Spanish English
Nuestro equipo simplemente se ha dormido en los laureles. Our team has simply fallen asleep on the laurels.
No hay que dormirse en los laureles por el trabajo realizado. Don’t rest on your laurels for the work done.
Es un resultado muy satisfactorio, pero no podemos dormirnos en los laureles. It’s a very satisfactory result, however we can’t rest on our laurels.


It’s your turn now: try to make a sentence using this expression!

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