Sloth (?), n. [OE. slouthe, sleuthe, AS. slw, fr. slaw slow. See Slow.]


Slowness; tardiness.

These cardinals trifle with me; I abhor This dilatory sloth and tricks of Rome. Shak.


Disinclination to action or labor; sluggishness; laziness; idleness.

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

Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears. Franklin.

3. Zool.

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.

The three-toed sloths belong to the genera Bradypus and Arctopithecus, of which several species have been described. They have three toes on each foot. The best-known species are collared sloth (Bradypus tridactylus), and the ai (Arctopitheus ai). The two-toed sloths, consisting the genus Cholopus, have two toes on each fore foot and three on each hind foot. The best-known is the unau (Cholopus didactylus) of South America. See Unau. Another species (C. Hoffmanni) inhabits Central America. Various large extinct terrestrial edentates, such as Megatherium and Mylodon, are often called sloths.

Australian, or Native sloth Zool., the koala. -- Sloth animalcule Zool., a tardigrade. -- Sloth bear Zool., a black or brown long-haired bear (Melursus ursinus, or labiatus), native of India and Ceylon; -- called also aswail, labiated bear, and jungle bear. It is easily tamed and can be taught many tricks. -- Sloth monkey Zool., a loris.


© Webster 1913.

Sloth, v. i.

To be idle.




© Webster 1913.