From Middle English slugge, from Old Norse slókr (a slouching, lazy fellow)[1], cognate to Swedish sloka (to wilt, slouch).


  • IPA(key): /slaʊt͡ʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊtʃ


slouch (plural slouches)

  1. A hanging down of the head; a drooping posture; a limp appearance
    He sat with an unenthusiastic slouch.
  2. Any depression or hanging down, as of a hat brim.
    The plant hung in a permanent slouch.
  3. Someone who is slow to act.
    • 2014, Ian Jack, "Is this the end of Britishness", The Guardian, 16 September 2014:
      In any case, Scotland has been no slouch at national invention. The Greek temple to commemorate James Thomson wasn’t the only monument raised by the 11th Earl of Buchan, who was a friend and neighbour of Walter Scott, and as great a romancer in his obsession with ruins, battlements and fancy dress.
  4. (dated) An awkward, heavy, clownish fellow.

Derived termsEdit



slouch (third-person singular simple present slouches, present participle slouching, simple past and past participle slouched)

  1. (intransitive) To hang or droop; to adopt a limp posture
    Do not slouch when playing a flute.
  2. (intransitive) To walk in a clumsy, lazy manner.
    I slouched to the fridge to see if there was anything to eat.
  3. (transitive) To cause to hang down or droop; to depress.
    • 1896, Duncan Campbell Scott, In the Village of Viger (page 107)
      [] then he slouched his head down on the table and pretended to sleep.
    • 2012, Kim Vogel Sawyer, When Hope Blossoms (page 281)
      Disappointment slouched him into the pew.


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2021) , “slouch”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.