slug·​gish | \ ˈslə-gish How to pronounce sluggish (audio) \

Definition of sluggish

1 : averse to activity or exertion : indolent also : torpid
2 : slow to respond (as to stimulation or treatment)
3a : markedly slow in movement, flow, or growth
b : economically inactive or slow

Other Words from sluggish

sluggishly adverb
sluggishness noun

Examples of sluggish in a Sentence

The game picked up after a sluggish start. the sluggish pace of the project is worrisome
Recent Examples on the Web Others noted sluggish birthrates plague many nations besides Japan, including Germany — where Tesla has just opened a new factory — and that Japan was simply being hit first. Reuters, NBC News, 9 May 2022 This incredibly useful feature has led to what many are calling a ‘tab hoarding problem’ that can lead to numerous issues, including sluggish browser performance. Ken Colburn, The Arizona Republic, 9 May 2022 Still, some economists argue that sluggish household spending on goods and services will remain a damper on inflation for the foreseeable future. Stella Yifan Xie, WSJ, 8 May 2022 Under Armour's and Adidas' sluggish results and forecast dragged down other big sportswear brands, including Nike (NKE) and Lululemon (LULU). Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, 6 May 2022 After a sluggish start offensively to the season, the Brewers suddenly have the second-best run-differential in the National League at plus-36, behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 May 2022 The idea is that light pressure releases fascial and muscular tension and moves sluggish lymph fluid to tone the face. Emily Rekstis, Allure, 14 Apr. 2022 Ducharme often wasn’t moving well down the stretch of the season, looking sluggish at times. Lila Bromberg, Hartford Courant, 29 Apr. 2022 Economists and central bankers of the day had lived through a history in which booming economies brought on rising inflation and sluggish economies brought on rising unemployment. Alan S. Blinder, WSJ, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of sluggish

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of sluggish was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near sluggish

slugging percentage



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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sluggish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sluggish


slug·​gish | \ ˈslə-gish How to pronounce sluggish (audio) \

Kids Definition of sluggish

: slow in movement or reaction … his sluggish brain was hardly working at all.— Dick King-Smith, Pigs Might Fly

Other Words from sluggish

sluggishly adverb


slug·​gish | \ ˈsləg-ish How to pronounce sluggish (audio) \

Medical Definition of sluggish

: markedly slow in movement, progression, or response sluggish healing

Other Words from sluggish

sluggishly adverb
sluggishness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on sluggish

Nglish: Translation of sluggish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sluggish for Arabic Speakers


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