[slawth or especially for 2, slohth]


habitual disinclination to exertion; indolence; laziness.
any of several slow-moving, arboreal, tropical American edentates of the family Bradypodidae, having a long, coarse, grayish-brown coat often of a greenish cast caused by algae, and long, hooklike claws used in gripping tree branches while hanging or moving along in a habitual upside-down position.
a pack or group of bears.

Origin of sloth

1125–75; Middle English slowth (see slow, -th1); replacing Old English slǣwth, derivative of slǣw, variant of slāw slow

Synonyms for sloth Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sloth

Contemporary Examples of sloth

Historical Examples of sloth

  • Moderation is the languor and sloth of the soul, Ambition its activity and heat.


    Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld

  • Mealy-bug is usually a sign of sloth on the part of the gardener.

  • To her well-wishers it seemed as if the people had given itself to sloth and indulgence.

  • She's an old thing herself, and of course she hasn't the nerves of a sloth.

  • Am I the cause that he hath sunk in sloth, and men scoff at his name and his strength?'

British Dictionary definitions for sloth



any of several shaggy-coated arboreal edentate mammals of the family Bradypodidae, esp Bradypus tridactylus (three-toed sloth or ai) or Choloepus didactylus (two-toed sloth or unau), of Central and South America. They are slow-moving, hanging upside down by their long arms and feeding on vegetation
reluctance to work or exert oneself

Word Origin for sloth

Old English slǣwth; from slǣw, variant of slāw slow
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 sloth

late 12c., "indolence, sluggishness," formed from Middle English slou, slowe (see slow (adj.)) + abstract formative -th (2). Replaced Old English slæwð "sloth, indolence." Sense of "slowness, tardiness" is from mid-14c. As one of the deadly sins, it translates Latin accidia.

The slow-moving mammal first so called 1610s, a translation of Portuguese preguiça "slowness, slothfulness," from Latin pigritia "laziness" (cf. Spanish perezosa "slothful," also "the sloth").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper