Suppose I set an alarm for 5 am in winter and you're sleeping.

Usually it is difficult for me (and maybe many others especially in India) to wake up early in the morning in winter. You want to sleep more in the warmth of blanket.

Your alarm starts ringing but you don't hear it. Note that I'm not saying for some reasons my alarm clock or alarm in phone didn't work. It actually rang but I just couldn't hear it or maybe heard it unconsciously but I was busy with sleep and dreams. I guess you got my point.

Or maybe it wasn't loud enough to wake me up from deep sleep.

So I need a word or phrase to describe it.

One phrase that comes to my mind is "missed the alarm". And I would use it following way:

I missed my alarm and got late for my office.

But I'm not sure what it actually means here. Is it correct? Or does it convey that your alarm device didn't work and it missed the alarm ring?

  • 3
    People arriving late at work, school, etc, often say sheepishly that they slept through their alarm. Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 8:32
  • 1
    It means that the alarm (presumably) went off, but you either didn't wake up or didn't consciously take notice of it. Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 9:03
  • 4
    Slept right through the alarm is also possible Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 9:56
  • 2
    Sleep through meaning miss because of being asleep is common for e.g. an alarm, a speech, a TV show, a journey, a rail or bus stop, among other things. Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 12:16
  • 2
    Missed is OK, although I like Slept through better. But "I got late for the office" doesn't make sense. Just say "I was late to the office."
    – stangdon
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 19:53

2 Answers 2


'I missed my alarm' would not convey that the device did not work. It would equally mean that you didn't hear the alarm. Just a side point, its the second part of the sentence that needs attention.

I missed my alarm and was late for work. or
I missed my alarm and got to the office late.

NOT: got late for my office.

  • So it's okay to say "missed alarm" casually?
    – Vikas
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 12:27
  • 1
    @Vikas Yes, "missed my alarm" is a natural and common phrase.
    – gotube
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 20:18

"I missed my alarm" in the natural phrase for not hearing or responding to an alarm for any accidental reason, including being asleep.

"I slept through my alarm" specifically means you missed your alarm because you were sleeping and it didn't wake you up.

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