sloth

noun
\ ˈslȯth How to pronounce sloth (audio) , ˈsläth also ˈslōth How to pronounce sloth (audio) \
plural sloths\ with  ths How to pronounce sloths (audio) or  t͟hz \

Definition of sloth

1a : disinclination to action or labor : indolence
b : spiritual apathy and inactivity the deadly sin of sloth
2 : any of various slow-moving arboreal edentate mammals (genera Bradypus and Choloepus) that inhabit tropical forests of South and Central America, hang from the branches back downward, and feed on leaves, shoots, and fruits — compare three-toed sloth, two-toed sloth

Illustration of sloth

Illustration of sloth

sloth 2

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Examples of sloth in a Sentence

the sins of gluttony and sloth a youth inclined more toward sloth than athletics

Recent Examples on the Web

Hike through a dense green woodland dotted with bubbling mud pots, and keep an eye out for exotic and rare wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, emerald toucanets, and the curious kinkajou. National Geographic, "Wild Costa Rica Escape: Guanacaste’s Coral Reefs and Volcanic Peaks," 17 June 2019 The zoo says the baby sloth is curious about the keepers, and will even maneuver on Xena to get close to them. Bradley J. Fikes, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Baby sloth enchants crowd at San Diego Zoo," 11 June 2019 Understanding the sloth's lifestyle was crucial for the engineers. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Robotic Sloth Is Purposely Slow," 30 May 2019 Or that the Amazonian sloths taken illegally from the jungle often die within weeks of being put in captivity. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism," 12 June 2019 Ninth-grader Ella Kinnersley's drawing of a sloth sanctuary is the Arizona winner in the Doodle for Google competition. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "You can vote to put Arizona teen's sloth art on Google's homepage," 4 June 2019 Their presence along with a diverse sloth assemblage suggests a more complex history of these organisms in Middle America. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Divers Found Giant Bear and Wolf Remains in an Underwater Cave," 2 May 2019 There was a sloth, a scary bachelorette with the same name as me (ugh) who kept stealing time away from the other ladies, and not one but three kisses. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Get to Know 'Bachelor' Contestant Caelynn Miller-Keyes," 11 Jan. 2019 There will also be some new animals, including a flamingo, sloth, otter, and an adorable service dog. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "These New 2019 Emojis Are Super Inclusive and Your Group Text Will Appreciate It," 6 Feb. 2019

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

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First Known Use of sloth

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sloth

Middle English slouthe, from slow slow

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Statistics for sloth

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sloth

The first known use of sloth was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for sloth

sloth

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sloth

formal : the quality or state of being lazy
: a type of animal that lives in trees in South and Central America and that moves very slowly

sloth

noun
\ ˈslȯth How to pronounce sloth (audio) , ˈslōth\

Kids Definition of sloth

1 : the quality or state of being lazy
2 : an animal of Central and South America that hangs with its back downward and moves slowly along the branches of trees on whose leaves, twigs, and fruits it feeds

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More from Merriam-Webster on sloth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sloth

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sloth

Spanish Central: Translation of sloth

Nglish: Translation of sloth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sloth for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sloth

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