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[sluhg-erd] /ˈslʌg ərd/
a person who is habitually inactive or lazy.
lazy; sluggardly.
Origin of sluggard
First recorded in 1350-1400, sluggard is from the Middle English word slogarde. See slug1, -ard Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sluggard
Historical Examples
  • "The day is young, but I'm no sluggard, you know," said the lawyer.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

    The Biglow Papers James Russell Lowell
  • The fans who watch the game of life despise the sluggard in the strife.

    Rippling Rhymes

    Walt Mason
  • To escape this fault, a man must be either a saint or a sluggard.

  • I will not, like a sluggard, wear out my youth in idleness at home.

    Tales from Shakespeare Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb
  • I knew him for a sluggard in the morning; but, as it drew on toward noon, I lost my patience.

  • We are told to go to the ant—at least the sluggard is—but for what?

    Science and Morals and Other Essays Bertram Coghill Alan Windle
  • No sluggard, be it known, can hope to catch grasshoppers with any degree of success.

    'Me-Smith' Caroline Lockhart
  • While he had stood there a dolt and sluggard, she had satisfied her curiosity and stolen away.

  • As vinegar to the teeth, And as smoke to the eyes, So is the sluggard to them that send him.

British Dictionary definitions for sluggard


a person who is habitually indolent
Derived Forms
sluggardly, adjective
sluggardliness, noun
sluggardness, noun
Word Origin
C14 slogarde; related to slug1
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
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Word Origin and History for sluggard

late 14c., late 13c. as a surname, "habitually lazy person," from Middle English sluggi "sluggish, indolent," probably from a Scandinavian word; cf. dialectal Norwegian slugga "be sluggish," dialectal Norwegian sluggje "heavy, slow person," dialectal Swedish slogga "to be slow or sluggish." Adjective sluggy is attested in English from early 13c.

'Tis the voice of a sluggard -- I heard him complain:
"You have wak'd me too soon, I must slumber again."
[Isaac Watts, 1674-1748]

'Tis the voice of the Lobster: I heard him declare
"You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair."
["Lewis Carroll" (Charles L. Dodgson), 1832-1898]
As an adjective meaning "sluggish, lazy" from 1590s. Related: Sluggardly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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