Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[sluhv-uh n-lee] /ˈslʌv ən li/
adjective, slovenlier, slovenliest.
untidy or unclean in appearance or habits.
characteristic of a sloven; slipshod:
slovenly work.
in an untidy, careless, or slipshod manner.
Origin of slovenly
First recorded in 1505-15; sloven + -ly
Related forms
slovenliness, noun
1. sluttish, slatternly. 2. careless, loose, disorderly.
1. neat. 2. careful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for slovenly
Historical Examples
  • Yes, you've taken to mucking your work—doing it in a most slovenly way.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • She was directed by a slovenly maid to a room on an upper floor, and left there.

  • Careless, slovenly and wasteful as I knew him to be, he was not mean.

  • It is a grievous thing to note how slovenly this part of the service is in some places.

    Broken Bread Thomas Champness
  • He lived in a large, stone house, kept in rather a slovenly manner.

    Virgin Soil Ivan S. Turgenev
  • "No, I'll go out after that kicker," he said, ashamed of his slovenly work.

    Blue-Bird Weather

    Robert W. Chambers
  • There was already a look of slovenly age about his stooping bookworm's gait.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • It was a slovenly word, a makeshift for the hard broom of clean thought.

    The Rough Road

    William John Locke
  • Earth dirt he had no objection to; slovenly dirt was as abhorrent to him as vice.

    Antony Gray,--Gardener Leslie Moore
  • In dress, although far from slovenly, he was by no means particular.

British Dictionary definitions for slovenly


frequently or habitually unclean or untidy
negligent and careless; slipshod: slovenly manners
in a negligent or slovenly manner
Derived Forms
slovenliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for slovenly

1510s, "low, base, lewd," later "untidy, dirty" (1560s), from sloven + -ly (1). Related: Slovenliness; also in this sense was slovenry (1540s), which OED reports in common use early 17c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for slovenly

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for slovenly

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for slovenly