Why was clemency trending last week?


[slooth] /sluθ/
a bloodhound, a dog used for tracking.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to track or trail, as a detective.
Origin of sleuth
1875-80; short for sleuthhound
Related forms
sleuthlike, adjective
supersleuth, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sleuthing
  • She keeps track of this confusing and colorful aerial menagerie with a little biological sleuthing.
  • Regulators and prosecutors will not provide details about sleuthing techniques.
  • Paying more attention to old-fashioned sleuthing would help.
  • All told, this statistical sleuthing suggests today's central bankers have little room for complacency.
  • But technology and sleuthing offer only a partial fix.
  • So far, the weather's been lousy, so my amateur sleuthing has been a nearly full-time activity.
  • The retraction appears to be the first result of their sleuthing.
  • Vickers-Rich is at the forefront of the scientific sleuthing into the dinosaurs that thrived in the polar regions.
  • Genome sleuthing shows the disease is caused by a previously unknown virus.
  • They included an impressive amount of scholarly sleuthing.
British Dictionary definitions for sleuthing


an informal word for detective
short for sleuthhound (sense 1)
(transitive) to track or follow
Word Origin
C19: short for sleuthhound, from C12 sleuth trail, from Old Norse sloth; see slot²
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
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Word Origin and History for sleuthing



c.1200, "track or trail of a person," from Old Norse sloð "trail," of uncertain origin. Meaning "detective" is 1872, shortening of sleuth-hound "keen investigator" (1849), a figurative use of a word that dates back to late 14c. meaning a kind of bloodhound. The verb (intransitive) meaning "to act as a detective, investigate" is recorded from 1905. Related: Sleuthed; sleuthing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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