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

  • n. Aversion to work or exertion; laziness; indolence.
  • n. Any of various slow-moving, arboreal, edentate mammals of the family Bradypodidae of South and Central America, having long hooklike claws by which they hang upside down from tree branches and feeding on leaves, buds, and fruits, especially:
  • n. A member of the genus Bradypus, having three long-clawed toes on each forefoot. Also called ai1, three-toed sloth.
  • n. A member of the genus Choloepus, having two toes on each forefoot. Also called two-toed sloth, unau.
  • n. A company of bears. See Synonyms at flock1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Laziness; slowness in the mindset.
  • n. A herbivorous, arboreal South American mammal of the families Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae, noted for its slowness and inactivity.
  • n. A collective term for a group of bears.
  • v. To be idle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Slowness; tardiness.
  • n. Disinclination to action or labor; sluggishness; laziness; idleness.
  • n. Any one of several species of arboreal edentates constituting the family Bradypodidæ, and the suborder Tardigrada. They have long exserted limbs and long prehensile claws. Both jaws are furnished with teeth (see Illust. of Edentata), and the ears and tail are rudimentary. They inhabit South and Central America and Mexico.
  • intransitive v. To be idle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To be idle or slothful.
  • To delay.
  • n. Slowness; tardiness.
  • n. Disinclination to action or labor; sluggishness; habitual indolence; laziness; idleness.
  • n. A company: said of bears.
  • n. A South American tardigrade edentate mammal of the family Bradypodidæ: so called from their slow and apparently awkward or clumsy movements.
  • n. One of the gigantic fossil gravigrade edentates, as a megatherium or mylodon. See cut under Mylodon.
  • n. Synonyms Indolence, inertness, torpor, lumpishness. See idle.
  • n. A Middle English form of sleuth.

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

  • n. a disinclination to work or exert yourself
  • n. any of several slow-moving arboreal mammals of South America and Central America; they hang from branches back downward and feed on leaves and fruits
  • n. apathy and inactivity in the practice of virtue (personified as one of the deadly sins)


Middle English slowth, from slow, slow; see slow.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English slouthe, slewthe, from Old English slǣwþ ("sloth, indolence, laziness, inertness, torpor"), from Proto-Germanic *slaiwiþō (“slowness, lateness”), equivalent to slow +‎ -th. Cognate with Scots sleuth ("sloth, slowness"). (Wiktionary)



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  • A Brit will blame you for your sloth
    And call for action with an oath.
    But cross the North Atlantic froth
    And hear the Yank condemn your sloth.
    The language is no tailored cloth
    But bubbles like a homemade broth.
    The Web promotes organic growth,
    So Wordnik wisely sanctions both.

    December 22, 2015

  • So much a more delightful word when pronounced with long O.

    December 7, 2010

  • *weejies* !!! Cute overload!

    September 7, 2008

  • On your shoulder.

    September 7, 2008

  • Usage note:
    "...leaving them on a broad veranda with a number of domesticated creatures on it, marmosets of three different kinds, an old bald toucan, a row of sleepy parrots, something hairy in the background that might have been a sloth or an anteater or even a doormat but that it farted from time to time, looking around censoriously on each occasion, and a strikingly elegant blue heron that walked in and out."
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World, 177

    February 21, 2008