A Word A Day : Sloth

Tuesday, 18th March 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Noun )

Pronunciation : slawth & slôth


1. a dislike of work or any kind of physical exertion

2. BIOLOGY : a slow-moving mammal that uses its long claws to hang upside down from tree branches. Native to: Central, South America. Genera Bradypus, Choloepus.

3. BIOLOGY : a pack or group of bears

4. habitual disinclination to exertion

5. apathy and inactivity in the practice of virtue (personified as one of the deadly sins)


[12th century - slow + -th, suffix forming nouns - Indo-European


do-nothingness, idleness, inactivity, indolence, inertia, lackadaisicalness, languidness, laxness, lethargy, listlessness, slackness, slothfulness, slowness, sluggishness, supineness, laziness


energy, industriousness

Contextual Examples:

• The three-toed sloth is so slow and lazy that it has green fur because of an algae that grows on it.

• Abashed by this question, I replied that sloth was my chief temptation.

• The creature had exactly the mild but repulsive features of a sloth, the same low forehead and slow gestures.

• Meanwhile, I had moved to sociable chambers within sound of the city clocks, and had lived the life of a lonely man about town, sinking more and more into the comfortable sloth of bachelorhood.

• To be lazy and sluggish is to be slothful.

• Ophelia's slothful husband virtually lived on the couch in the living room and the television remote control devise was in danger of becoming grafted to his hand.

• Ivan's weekends were devoted to sloth. He never arose before noon and he seldom left the house before Monday morning.

• You may have seen a picture of an animal called a sloth. It hangs upside down from tree limbs and is never in a hurry to do anything.

• To fall into sloth is to act like a sloth.

Related Words:

slothfully : Adjective

slothfulness : Noun

Slothful : Adjective

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