ˈslȯth How to pronounce sloth (audio)
ˈslōth How to pronounce sloth (audio)
plural sloths ˈslȯths How to pronounce sloth (audio)
 also  ˈslōths,
: disinclination to action or labor : indolence
: spiritual apathy and inactivity
the deadly sin of sloth
: 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

Example Sentences

the sins of gluttony and sloth a youth inclined more toward sloth than athletics
Recent Examples on the Web This charming tea infuser is shaped like an adorable sloth and made from food-safe, BPA-free silicone. Adria Greenhauff, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Nov. 2022 Seven bottlenose dolphins now live at the Mirage along with four leopards, two lions, eight tigers, a two-eyed sloth, an umbrella cockatoo and a few hundred aquarium fish, per National Geographic. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Oct. 2022 The building that was destroyed was a warehouse with a memorable mural on the side that included several people and animals, including a tortoise and a sloth. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, 21 Oct. 2022 Once the mother and baby reach Teddy, the little sloth leans over and sniffs its father. Alexandra Schonfeld,, 16 May 2022 The kids enjoyed seeing such animals as a red kangaroo and a sloth — and the children took a camel ride. Maureen Mackey, Fox News, 10 July 2022 According to a release from the Massachusetts zoo, on June 22, Sandy the Hoffman's two-toed sloth gave birth to a healthy baby — the first baby sloth born at the zoo in its 127-year history. Kelli Bender,, 13 July 2021 The murders in the film represent the seven deadly sins as defined by Christianity: gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, pride, envy, and wrath. Derek Scancarelli,, 7 July 2022 The bureaucratic sloth is a bad omen as the Covid pandemic grinds into its 32nd month. David Axe, Rolling Stone, 16 July 2022 See More

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.

Word History


Middle English slouthe, from slow slow

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near sloth

Cite this Entry

“Sloth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

: the quality or state of being lazy
: any of several slow-moving mammals of the tropical forests of Central and South America that are related to the armadillos, live in trees, and feed on leaves, shoots, and fruits

More from Merriam-Webster on sloth

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