• synonyms


[slawth or especially for 2, slohth]
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  1. habitual disinclination to exertion; indolence; laziness.
  2. 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.
  3. a pack or group of bears.
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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

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sloth

inactivity, lethargy, laxness, idleness, listlessness, slowness, slackness, slothfulness, indolence, inertia, lackadaisicalness, supineness

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


  1. 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
  2. reluctance to work or exert oneself
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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").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper