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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English slouthe, slewthe, from Old English slǣwþ (sloth, indolence, laziness, inertness, torpor), from Proto-Germanic *slaiwiþō (slowness, lateness), equivalent to slow +‎ -th. Cognate with Scots sleuth (sloth, slowness).


slowth (uncountable)

  1. (archaic) Alternative form of sloth
    • (Can we date this quote?) George Washington, The writings of George Washington:
      [] but such was the reduced state of our Continental regiments, after the battle of Brandywine, and such the slowth and difficulty of procuring reinforcements of militia from the southward, [] (1890 edition)
    • (Can we date this quote?) Thomas Jefferson, J. Jefferson Looney, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Retirement Series (2011 edition)
      [] are so many and great, that it is wonderful to me, that in a course of 30 years, it is not yet brought into general use. it is one of the remarkable proofs of the slowth with which improvements in the arts & sciences advance.
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Blend of slow +‎ growth


slowth (uncountable)

  1. Slow economic growth.
    • 1980, Martin Kupferman, Maurice D. Levi, Slowth, the changing economy and how you can successfully cope:
      Slowth lies behind the difficulties each of us faces in achieving the standard of living we desire.
    • 1984, George Lermer, Thomas J. Courchene, Probing leviathan: an investigation of government in the economy:
      Unfortunately, with slowth it becomes progressively more difficult to escape from the rigours of scarcity
    • 1985, Lee H. Radebaugh, Earl H. Fry, David M. Kennedy, Canada/U.S. trade relations: problems and prospects:
      it is realized that the slowth context is making that activity less than might be considered desirable.

Etymology 3Edit

Recoinage slow +‎ -th


slowth (uncountable)

  1. The state or condition of being slow; slowness.
    • 1966, Flying Magazine:
      Good old-fashioned slowth is being looked at with new interest, as is exemplified by such old antiques as the old Douglas Skyraider. And, of course the helicopter, slowest of all, so slow you can easily make one go backwards.
    • 1983, High fidelity Musical America:
      The tempo of the introduction, which Mahler has marked to be slow and dragging, is of the utmost "slowth" (if I may use such a word to denote the creepy, crawling atmosphere thus created).
    • 2006, CPU speed: new computer necessary?:
      The slowth may have been caused by various software issues rather than anything to do with hardware.