What does sloth mean?

Definitions for sloth
slɔθ or, esp. for 2, sloʊθsloth

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word sloth.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sloth, slothfulnessnoun

    a disinclination to work or exert yourself

  2. sloth, tree slothnoun

    any of several slow-moving arboreal mammals of South America and Central America; they hang from branches back downward and feed on leaves and fruits

  3. sloth, laziness, acedianoun

    apathy and inactivity in the practice of virtue (personified as one of the deadly sins)


  1. slothnoun

    Laziness; slowness in the mindset.

  2. slothnoun

    A herbivorous, arboreal South American mammal of the families Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae, noted for its slowness and inactivity.

  3. slothnoun

    A collective term for a group of bears.

  4. Etymology: From slouthe, slewthe, from slæwþ, from slaiwiþō, equivalent to. Cognate with sleuth.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Slothnoun

    Etymology: slæwð, slewð , Saxon.

    These cardinals trifle with me: I abhor
    This dilatory sloth and tricks of Rome. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    False of heart, light of ear, bloody of hand,
    Hog in sloth, fox in stealth. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    They change their course to pleasure, ease, and sloth. John Milton.

    Industry approach’d,
    And rous’d him from his miserable sloth. James Thomson, Autumn.

    The sloth is an animal of so slow a motion, that he will be three or four days at least in climbing up and coming down a tree; and to go the length of fifty paces on plain ground, requires a whole day. Nehemiah Grew.


  1. Sloth

    Sloths are a group of Neotropical xenarthran mammals constituting the suborder Folivora, including the extant arboreal tree sloths and extinct terrestrial ground sloths. Noted for their slowness of movement, tree sloths spend most of their lives hanging upside down in the trees of the tropical rainforests of South America and Central America. Sloths are considered to be most closely related to anteaters, together making up the xenarthran order Pilosa. There are six extant sloth species in two genera – Bradypus (three–toed sloths) and Choloepus (two–toed sloths). Despite this traditional naming, all sloths have three toes on each rear limb-- although two-toed sloths have only two digits on each forelimb. The two groups of sloths are from different, distantly related families, and are thought to have evolved their morphology via parallel evolution from terrestrial ancestors. Besides the extant species, many species of ground sloths ranging up to the size of elephants (like Megatherium) inhabited both North and South America during the Pleistocene Epoch. However, they became extinct during the Quaternary extinction event around 12,000 years ago, along with most large bodied animals in the New World. The extinction correlates in time with the arrival of humans, but climate change has also been suggested to have contributed. Members of an endemic radiation of Caribbean sloths also formerly lived in the Greater Antilles but became extinct after humans settled the archipelago in the mid-Holocene, around 6,000 years ago. Sloths are so named because of their very low metabolism and deliberate movements. Sloth, related to slow, literally means "laziness," and their common names in several other languages (e.g. French: paresseux, Spanish: perezoso) also mean "lazy" or similar. Their slowness permits their low-energy diet of leaves and avoids detection by predatory hawks and cats that hunt by sight. Sloths are almost helpless on the ground, but are able to swim. The shaggy coat has grooved hair that is host to symbiotic green algae which camouflage the animal in the trees and provide it nutrients. The algae also nourish sloth moths, some species of which exist solely on sloths.


  1. sloth

    A sloth is a slow-moving, tree-dwelling mammal found in the rainforests of Central and South America. It is characterized by its long limbs, shaggy coat, and sharp claws for climbing. The term "sloth" is also used to refer to one of the Seven Deadly Sins in Christian philosophy, symbolizing laziness or a lack of effort.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Slothnoun

    slowness; tardiness

  2. Slothnoun

    disinclination to action or labor; sluggishness; laziness; idleness

  3. Slothnoun

    any one of several species of arboreal edentates constituting the family Bradypodidae, and the suborder Tardigrada. They have long exserted limbs and long prehensile claws. Both jaws are furnished with teeth (see Illust. of Edentata), and the ears and tail are rudimentary. They inhabit South and Central America and Mexico

  4. Slothverb

    to be idle

  5. Etymology: [OE. slouthe, sleuthe, AS. slw, fr. slw slow. See Slow.]


  1. Sloth

    Sloths are medium-sized mammals belonging to the families Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae, classified into six species. They are part of the order Pilosa and are therefore related to anteaters, which sport a similar set of specialized claws. Extant sloths are arboreal residents of the jungles of Central and South America, and are known for being slow-moving, and hence named "sloths". Extinct sloth species include many ground sloths. Sloths make a good habitat for other organisms, and a single sloth may be home to moths, beetles, cockroaches, ciliates, fungi, and algae.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Sloth

    slōth, or sloth, n. laziness, sluggishness: a sluggish arboreal animal of tropical America, of two genera (Cholœpus, the two-toed sloth, and Bradypus, the three-toed sloth).—adj. Sloth′ful, given to sloth: inactive: lazy.—adv. Sloth′fully.—n. Sloth′fulness. [A.S. slǽwthsláw, slow.]

Suggested Resources

  1. sloth

    Song lyrics by sloth -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by sloth on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. SLOTH

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Sloth is ranked #133048 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Sloth surname appeared 127 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Sloth.

    97.6% or 124 total occurrences were White.

How to pronounce sloth?

How to say sloth in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sloth in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sloth in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of sloth in a Sentence

  1. Benjamin Franklin:

    Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry, all things easy. He that rises late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night, while laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.

  2. Alex Nicholson:

    He adored that sloth stuffed animal. He would sleep with him every night. We had a giant ‘hang in there’ sloth balloon in his hospital room, all of the nurses loved it.

  3. Kristine Bohmann:

    In just 40 samples, we detected 49 species spanning mammal, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish, in the Rainforest House( at Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark) we even detected the guppies in the pond, the two-toed sloth and the boa. When sampling air in just one outdoor site, we detected many of the animals with access to an outdoor enclosure in that part of Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark, for example kea, ostrich and rhino.

  4. Matthew Bennett:

    The story that we can read from the tracks is that the humans were stalking; following in the footsteps, precisely in the footsteps of the sloth, while it was being distracted and turning, somebody else would come across and try and deliver the killer blow. It's an interesting story and it's all written in the footprints.

  5. Stanley Ambrose:

    This allowed us to trace monthly and seasonal changes in the sloth's diet and climate for the first time, and also to select the best part of the tooth for reliable radiocarbon dating.

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Translations for sloth

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"sloth." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/sloth>.

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    separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
    A elaborate
    B cleave
    C efface
    D emanate

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