Desvelado – Translations & Meanings in English

What does ‘desvelado’ mean in Spanish?

In Spanish, desvelado and desvelada are standard adjectives. When used to describe people, these words express that someone is ‘sleep-deprived, ‘restless’ or ‘sleepless’. However, when referring to things or situations, ‘desvelado’ expresses that something is ‘revealed’ or ‘unveiled’,

How and When to use ‘Desvelado’

In Spanish, desvelado and desvelada are common Spanish adjectives whose meaning can vary based on what they’re describing. In other words, depending on the context, these words can be translated as ‘revealed’, ‘unveiled’, ‘sleepless’ or ‘sleep-deprived’.

Here are some real-life examples of how to use ‘desvelado’ in your conversations.

As a synonym of ‘sleepless’ or ‘sleep-deprived’  

When used to describe a person, ‘desvelado’ describes that a person is tired due to the lack of sleep. So, in this situation, ‘desvelado’ can be translated as ‘sleepless’, ‘sleep-deprived’ or ‘tired’. Since this adjective is referring to a physical state, it usually works with the verbs ‘estar’ and ‘andar’.

[Estar conjugated] + desvelado

Nancy está desvelada y necesita café
Nancy is tired and she needs some coffee

Me pongo de malas cuando estoy desvelado
I get very cranky when I’m sleep-deprived

¿Estás desvalado? ¡Hoy tenemos un proyecto importante!
Are you tired? We have an important project today!

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Estar desvelado (being sleep-deprived) can have an impact in the way you look. As a result, we can combine this word with the reflexive verb verse to comment that someone looks like they didn’t sleep. 

[Verse conjugated] + desvelado

Te ves un poco desvelado, ¿a qué hora te dormiste?
You seem tired, what time did you go to bed?

Karina y Sasha se ven muy desveladas
Karina and Sasha look sleep-deprived

Ayer no dormí nada, pero la verdad no me veo desvelado
Yesterday I didn’t sleep anything at all, but I don’t look tired 

Take Note: Desvelado and desvelada come from the verb ‘desvelarse’ which can be used to express that you didn’t sleep. It can be translated as ‘be awake late’, or ‘unable to sleep’. Just like ‘verse’, ‘develarse’ is a reflexive verb. So, in order to use them correctly, you will need to follow the reflexive verb conjugation.  

Ayer me desvelé haciendo tarea. 
Yesterday I was up late doing homework. 

¿Se desvelaron ayer o por qué se ven tan cansados?
Were you guys awake late or why do you look so tired?

Expressing that something was unveiled 

In more formal contexts, ‘desvelado’ and ‘desvelada’ are used to describe that a hidden thing or situation was uncovered or unveiled. So, with this meaning, ‘desvelado’ can be translated as ‘revealed’ or ‘unveiled’. 

[Noun] + [‘ser’ preterite] + [desvelado]

La evidencia fue desvelada por el detective. 
The evidence was unveiled by the detective. 

Los planes del gobernador fueron desvelados ayer. 
The governor’s plans were revealed yesterday. 

Su secreto fue desvelado
Her secret was revealed.

Synonyms for ‘Desvelado’

  • Insomne is a very formal adjective that we use to describe a person unable to sleep. It means ‘sleepless’. 
  • Despierto is the direct translation of ‘awake’, but it can be used in place of ‘desvelado’ if we combine it with the verb ‘quedarse’ (quedarse despierto). ‘quedarse’. 
  • Revelado and its feminine form revelada are the direct translation of ‘revealed’. Therefore, these words are synonyms of ‘desvelado’ when talking about unveiling something. 

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I've been studying Spanish professionally as well as teaching it in Mexico and online for over 10 years. I’ve taught Spanish to a wide array of foreigners from many backgrounds. Over the years, I've made it my mission to work hard on refining many challenging to understand grammar topics to make my students' learning experiences easier, faster and more enjoyable. Read More About Me

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