AskDefine | Define sleuth

Dictionary Definition

sleuth n : a detective who follows a trail [syn: sleuthhound] v : watch, observe, or inquire secretly [syn: spy, stag, snoop]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

  • italbrac RP /sluːθ/, /slu:T/
  • Rhymes with: -uːθ

Etymology 1

From slóð (Norwegian slo).

Noun

  1. An animal's trail or track.
  2. A sleuth-hound; a bloodhound.
  3. A detective.
    • 1908, Edith Van Dyne (Frank L. Baum), Aunt Jane’s Nieces at Millville
      Do ye want me to become a sleuth, or engage detectives to track the objects of your erroneous philanthropy?
Synonyms
Translations
detective
  • Dutch: speurder, speurneus, detective, detectief italbrac informal
  • Finnish: etsivä, yksityisetsivä

Verb

  1. To act as a detective; to try to discover who committed a crime.
    • 1922, Agatha Christie, The Secret Adversary
      We must discover where he lives, what he does — sleuth him, in fact!
Synonyms
Translations
detective
  • Dutch: naspeuren, schaduwen

Etymology 2

slǣwþ, corresponding to slow + -th.

Noun

  1. In the context of "obsolete|uncountable": Slowness; laziness, sloth.
  2. A collective term for a group of bears.
    • 2007, Elinor De Wire, The Lightkeepers' Menagerie: Stories of Animals at Lighthouses - Page 200
      From the darkness came the howls of routs of wolves and bands of coyotes, the rumbling growls of a sleuth of bears or the bugles of a gang of elk.
    • 1995, Bobbie Ann Mason, The Girl Sleuth - Page 13
      If these dainty adventurers weren't being chased by a sleuth of bears or bogeys, they were being captured by Gypsies or thieves.
    • 1961, Noel Perrin, A Passport Secretly Green - Page 89''
      As quietly as if I were practicing to join a sleuth of bears, I crept out the door and went on home, eventually winding up in the garage...

See also

Extensive Definition

Sleuth may mean:

See also

sleuth in German: Sleuth
sleuth in French: Sleuth
sleuth in Dutch: Sleuth

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Bow Street runner, FBI, FBI agent, Federal, G-man, Secret Service, Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes, T-man, detective, dick, eye, fed, gumshoe, hawkshaw, hotel detective, house detective, house dick, inquiry agent, investigator, narc, operative, plainclothesman, police detective, private detective, private eye, private investigator, revenuer, shamus, snoop, store detective, tec, treasury agent
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