sloth·​ful ˈslȯth-fəl How to pronounce slothful (audio)
 also  ˈslōth-
: inclined to sloth : indolent
ˈslȯth-fə-lē How to pronounce slothful (audio)
 also  ˈslōth-
slothfulness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for slothful

lazy, indolent, slothful mean not easily aroused to activity.

lazy suggests a disinclination to work or to take trouble.

take-out foods for lazy cooks

indolent suggests a love of ease and a dislike of movement or activity.

the heat made us indolent

slothful implies a temperamental inability to act promptly or speedily when action or speed is called for.

fired for being slothful about filling orders

Examples of slothful in a Sentence

his overly lax managerial style has resulted in a department that is slothful and unproductive
Recent Examples on the Web At our test track, the buzzy little SUV needed a slothful 9.2 seconds to hit 60 mph. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, 23 Dec. 2022 The pilfered offspring return with the raiders to their nests, then hatch and grow up to become live-in slaves, tasked with the feeding and care of their slothful masters and their masters’ brood. Brendan Borrell, Discover Magazine, 10 Apr. 2013 Procrastination can be slothful or prudent, a vice or a virtue, depending on your habits and the tasks at hand. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 16 Dec. 2021 Selfish, feckless, self-deluded, weak-willed yet childishly willful, manipulative, slothful, and mendacious: How can such a despicable character also be such a likable one? Sigrid Nunez, Harper's Magazine, 28 Sep. 2021 The proud stagger beneath a sack of boulders, and the slothful atone with manic activity. Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, 13 Sep. 2021 After releasing 12 albums in 13 months, Twin Cities guitarist Cory Wong will end his momentarily slothful ways and drop just his second album this year. Jon Bream, Star Tribune, 11 May 2021 At the same time, others construed even the most slothful forms of idleness as a bold resistance to modernity’s greatest ills. Ingrid Nelson, The Conversation, 19 Mar. 2021 Another echoing aircraft hangar is home to a set representing a perfect Depression-era kitchen, where Rebel Wilson’s droll, slothful Jennyanydots will lounge her days away. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, 19 Dec. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'slothful.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of slothful was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near slothful

Cite this Entry

“Slothful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


sloth·​ful ˈslȯth-fəl How to pronounce slothful (audio)
slothfully adverb
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