[ sluhv-uh n ]
/ ˈslʌv ən /


a person who is habitually negligent of neatness or cleanliness in dress, appearance, etc.
a person who works, acts, speaks, etc., in a negligent, slipshod manner.

Nearby words

  1. slough,
  2. slough off,
  3. slovak,
  4. slovakia,
  5. slovakian,
  6. slovene,
  7. slovenia,
  8. slovenly,
  9. slow,
  10. slow burn

Origin of sloven

1400–50; late Middle English sloveyn, perhaps < Middle Dutch slof careless (Dutch slof careless, sloven to toil) + -inne feminine noun suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sloven

British Dictionary definitions for sloven


/ (ˈslʌvən) /


a person who is habitually negligent in appearance, hygiene, or work

Word Origin for sloven

C15: probably related to Flemish sloef dirty, Dutch slof negligent

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 sloven



late 15c., "immoral woman," later (16c.) also "rascal, knave" (regardless of gender); probably from a continental Germanic source, cf. Middle Flemish sloovin "a scold," sloef "untidy, shabby," Dutch slof "careless, negligent," Middle Low German sloven "put on clothes carelessly," from Proto-Germanic *slaubjan, from PIE *sleubh- "to slide, slip" (see sleeve). Meaning "person careless of dress or negligent of cleanliness" is from 1520s. Cf. also slut.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper