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sleuth

noun \ ˈslüth \
Updated on: 11 Dec 2017

Definition of sleuth

sleuth was our Word of the Day on 10/05/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of sleuth in a Sentence

  1. the popular TV sleuth lives a much more action-packed life than do his real-world counterparts

Recent Examples of sleuth from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sleuth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of sleuth

short for sleuthhound


2

sleuth

verb

Definition of sleuth

intransitive verb
: to act as a detective : search for information
transitive verb
: to search for and discover

Recent Examples of sleuth from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sleuth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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

1900


SLEUTH Defined for English Language Learners

sleuth

noun

Definition of sleuth for English Language Learners

  • : someone who looks for information to solve crimes



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