• (RP) IPA: /sləʊθ/, /slɒθ/
  • (GA) IPA: /slɔθ/
  • (cot-caught, Canada) IPA: /slɑθ/
  • (New Zealand) IPA: /slɒθ/


  1. (uncountable) Laziness; slowness in the mindset; disinclination to action or labour.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 10”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      [They] change their course to pleasure, ease, and sloth.
    • Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears.
  2. (countable) A herbivorous, arboreal South American mammal of the families Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae, noted for its slowness and inactivity.
  3. (rare) A collective term for a group of bears.
Related terms Translations Translations Verb

sloth (sloths, present participle slothing; past and past participle slothed)

  1. (obsolete, intransitive, transitive) To be idle; to idle (away time).
    • 1676, John Bunyan, The Strait Gate, or, Great Difficulty of Going to Heaven, London: Francis Smith, p. 69,
      […] the most of professors are for imbezzeling, mispending and slothing away their time, their talents, their opportunities to do good in […]
    • 1677, Hannah Woolley, The Compleat Servant-Maid, London: T. Passinger, p. 2,
      That you endeavour carefully to please your Lady, Master or Mistress, be faithful, diligent and submissive to them, encline not to sloth or laze in bed, but rise early in a morning.

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