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[slawth or especially for 2, slohth] /slɔθ or especially for 2, sloʊθ/
habitual disinclination to exertion; indolence; laziness.
any of several slow-moving, arboreal, tropical American edentates of the family Bradypodidae, having a long, coarse, grayish-brown coat often of a greenish cast caused by algae, and long, hooklike claws used in gripping tree branches while hanging or moving along in a habitual upside-down position.
a pack or group of bears.
Origin of sloth
1125-75; Middle English slowth (see slow, -th1); replacing Old English slǣwth, derivative of slǣw, variant of slāw slow
1. shiftlessness, idleness, slackness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sloth
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I'll leave behind a record unblemished by oversight or sloth.

  • Moderation is the languor and sloth of the soul, Ambition its activity and heat.

    Reflections Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld
  • At daylight we again set off with Tim and Sambo, to bring down the body of the sloth.

    The Wanderers W.H.G. Kingston
  • To her well-wishers it seemed as if the people had given itself to sloth and indulgence.

    The Siege of Boston Allen French
  • Stephen was as idle as ever, and less ashamed of his sloth now that there was someone to keep the wolf from the door.

    The Bondman Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for sloth


any of several shaggy-coated arboreal edentate mammals of the family Bradypodidae, esp Bradypus tridactylus (three-toed sloth or ai) or Choloepus didactylus (two-toed sloth or unau), of Central and South America. They are slow-moving, hanging upside down by their long arms and feeding on vegetation
reluctance to work or exert oneself
Word Origin
Old English slǣwth; from slǣw, variant of slāwslow
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 sloth

late 12c., "indolence, sluggishness," formed from Middle English slou, slowe (see slow (adj.)) + abstract formative -th (2). Replaced Old English slæwð "sloth, indolence." Sense of "slowness, tardiness" is from mid-14c. As one of the deadly sins, it translates Latin accidia.

The slow-moving mammal first so called 1610s, a translation of Portuguese preguiça "slowness, slothfulness," from Latin pigritia "laziness" (cf. Spanish perezosa "slothful," also "the sloth").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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