Simple Definition of sleuth
: someone who looks for information to solve crimes
Full Definition of sleuth
Examples of sleuth in a sentence
<the popular TV sleuth lives a much more action-packed life than do his real-world counterparts>
Origin of sleuth
short for sleuthhound
First Known Use: 1872
Definition of sleuth
: to act as a detective : search for information
: to search for and discover
Did You Know?
They were the footprints of a gigantic hound! Those canine tracks in Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles set the great Sherlock Holmes sleuthing on the trail of a murderer. It was a case of art imitating etymology. When Middle English speakers first borrowed sleuth from Old Norse, the term referred to "the track of an animal or person." In Scotland, a sleuthhound was a bloodhound used to hunt game or track down fugitives from justice. In 19th century U.S. English, sleuthhound became an epithet for a detective and was soon shortened to sleuth. From there, it was only a short leap to turning sleuth into a verb describing what a sleuth does.
First Known Use of sleuth
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up sleuth? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).