March 29, 2017
- sloth (noun)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : the quality or state of being lazy2 : 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
- How do you use it?
- "‘And if I let a gust of wind or a sprinkling of rain turn me aside from these easy tasks, what preparation would such sloth be for the future I propose to myself?'" (Emily Brontë, _Jane Eyre_)
- Are you a word wiz?
As you can see from our definition, the word "sloth" has hugely different meanings! What do you think the root word of "sloth" meant?Quick thinking if you picked answer C! "Sloth" comes from the Middle English word "slow," the ancestor of modern "slow." Middle English "slow" also gave rise to the word "slouthe," which meant disinclination to activity – in other words, laziness. "Slouthe" became "sloth." In the early 1600s, English speakers gave the name "sloth" to an animal they encountered in Central and South America. Why? Probably because the creatures are tremendously slow: at their fastest, they can only go 0.3 miles per hour. Add to that the fact that they spend about 20 hours a day sleeping or resting, and you can see why these animals earned the name sloth!