Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Aversion to work or exertion; laziness; indolence.
  • noun Any of various slow-moving, arboreal mammals of the suborder Folivora of South and Central America, having long hooklike claws by which they hang upside down from tree branches, and feeding on leaves, buds, and fruit, especially.
  • noun A member of the genus Bradypus, having three long-clawed toes on each forefoot.
  • noun A member of the genus Choloepus, having two toes on each forefoot.
  • noun A group of bears.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To be idle.
  • noun Slowness; tardiness.
  • noun Disinclination to action or labor; sluggishness; laziness; idleness.
  • noun (Zoöl.) 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.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the koala.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a tardigrade.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a black or brown long-haired bear (Melursus ursinus, or Melursus labiatus), native of India and Ceylon; -- called also aswail, labiated bear, and jungle bear. It is easily tamed and can be taught many tricks.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a loris.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable Laziness; slowness in the mindset.
  • noun countable A herbivorous, arboreal South American mammal of the families Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae, noted for its slowness and inactivity.
  • noun rare A collective term for a group of bears.
  • verb obsolete, intransitive To be idle.

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

  • noun a disinclination to work or exert yourself
  • noun 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
  • noun apathy and inactivity in the practice of virtue (personified as one of the deadly sins)

Etymologies

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

[Middle English slowth, from slow, slow; see slow.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

Examples

Comments

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  • 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

  • On your shoulder.

    September 7, 2008

  • *weejies* !!! Cute overload!

    September 7, 2008

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

    December 7, 2010

  • 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