from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A detective.
  • n. See sleuthhound.
  • transitive v. To track or follow.
  • intransitive v. To act as a detective.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An animal’s trail or track.
  • n. A sleuth-hound; a bloodhound.
  • n. A detective.
  • v. To act as a detective; to try to discover who committed a crime.
  • n. Slowness; laziness, sloth.
  • n. A collective term for a group of bears.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The track of man or beast as followed by the scent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A Middle English form of sloth.
  • n. A track or trail of man or beast; scent.
  • n. A newspaper name for a detective.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a detective who follows a trail
  • v. watch, observe, or inquire secretly


Short for sleuthhound.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old Norse slóð (Norwegian slo). (Wiktionary)
From Old English slǣwþ, corresponding to slow + -th. (Wiktionary)



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  • Quite likely the ugliest goddamn word ever. I hate it even more than I hate "moist."

    February 29, 2016

  • "Jane and I have been doing a bit of sleuthing" was a line from the Marple TV program...though of course they were investigating a real murder. "I'm sleuthing for my keys", say, is irksome indeed.

    if you're not a filthy yod-dropper, this word represents a unique s-initial onset cluster in English, one that isn't str/l-, skr/l- or spr/l-

    August 3, 2009

  • Someone I work with uses this as a verb, indiscriminately, to refer to any sort of investigation or research activity, covert or overt, and for some reason this irks me.

    October 22, 2008

  • A group of bears

    November 16, 2007