sleuth

[slooth]
See more synonyms for sleuth on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to track or trail, as a detective.

Origin of sleuth

First recorded in 1875–80; short for sleuthhound
Related formssleuth·like, adjectivesu·per·sleuth, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for sleuth

Contemporary Examples of sleuth

Historical Examples of sleuth

  • There was something very like the 194 sleuth in its attitude.

  • Never was there a sleuth with his heart in his business as mine will be.

    In Apple-Blossom Time

    Clara Louise Burnham

  • All we've got to do now is to play the sleuth when he leaves the cabin.

  • There wa'n't any need to do the sleuth act after Marjorie got started.

    Torchy

    Sewell Ford

  • "This," says the sleuth, haulin' out of his pocket a bulgy envelope.


British Dictionary definitions for sleuth

sleuth

noun
  1. an informal word for detective
  2. short for sleuthhound (def. 1)
verb
  1. (tr) to track or follow

Word Origin for sleuth

C19: short for sleuthhound, from C12 sleuth trail, from Old Norse sloth; see slot ²
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

Word Origin and History for sleuth
n.

c.1200, "track or trail of a person," from Old Norse sloð "trail," of uncertain origin. Meaning "detective" is 1872, shortening of sleuth-hound "keen investigator" (1849), a figurative use of a word that dates back to late 14c. meaning a kind of bloodhound. The verb (intransitive) meaning "to act as a detective, investigate" is recorded from 1905. Related: Sleuthed; sleuthing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper