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sleeper

noun; other word formation type metaphorical extension
A car or other automobile that, from the outside, appears to be little more than broken down. The interior, however, and especially the engine, are not only in good condition but usually in superior and possibly not street legal condition.
 
"Before I got in the car I thought she was a piece of junk, but when the engine turned over and she purred like a jungle cat, I realized she was a sleeper."
Etymology : Metaphorical extension: from sleeper, a person or animal who is asleep.
Source : Commonly used to describe my friend's Camaro.
Last modified: 25 November 2008


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