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



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

Etymology 1

From slóð (Norwegian slo).


  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?
  • Dutch: speurder, speurneus, detective, detectief italbrac informal
  • Finnish: etsivä, yksityisetsivä


  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!
  • Dutch: naspeuren, schaduwen

Etymology 2

slǣwþ, corresponding to slow + -th.


  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
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1