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See more synonyms for sluggish on Thesaurus.com
  1. indisposed to action or exertion; lacking in energy; lazy; indolent: a sluggish disposition.
  2. not acting or working with full vigor, as bodily organs: a sluggish liver.
  3. slow to act or respond: a sluggish car engine.
  4. moving slowly, or having little motion, as a stream.
  5. slow, as motion.
  6. slack, as trade, business, or sales.
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Origin of sluggish

First recorded in 1400–50, sluggish is from the late Middle English word slugissh. See slug1, -ish1
Related formsslug·gish·ly, adverbslug·gish·ness, nounun·slug·gish, adjectiveun·slug·gish·ly, adverbun·slug·gish·ness, noun


See more synonyms for sluggish on Thesaurus.com
1. slow, slothful. See inactive.


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

Examples from the Web for sluggishly

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for sluggishly


  1. lacking energy; inactive; slow-moving
  2. functioning at below normal rate or level
  3. exhibiting poor response to stimulation
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Derived Formssluggishly, adverbsluggishness, noun
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 sluggishly



mid-15c., from Middle English slugge "lazy person" (see sluggard) + -ish. Earlier adjective was sluggi (early 13c.). Related: Sluggishly; sluggishness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper