Definition of sluggish in English:



  • 1Slow-moving or inactive.

    ‘a sluggish stream’
    • ‘I always wondered why no one crossed via the Rio Grande, a sluggish stream when I passed over it.’
    • ‘The lake was a bit more than a mile from the nearest road: not wilderness exactly, but a very long way to hurry over a rough track with a rucksack on your back containing fifty litres of water and a dozen sluggish trout.’
    • ‘As you're standing on the Willare or Fitzroy bridges and watching the brown water surge past it's amazing to think that by October it'll be back to a tame sluggish river.’
    • ‘What was once a sluggish, silted and overgrown stream has been transformed into a gushing torrent thanks to the hard work of a conservation team.’
    • ‘The river is generally slow and sluggish, the only reasonable chance of success being with a spinner to give the lure some life.’
    • ‘The sound of gunfire here in the rolling landscape of northeast France, with the River Some flowing its sluggish course five miles to the south, held an irony we could well appreciate.’
    • ‘This sluggish growth will impede the creation of job opportunities, while skyrocketing inflation will definitely decrease people's real incomes.’
    • ‘Blood stasis is a condition in which the flow of blood in the veins has become sluggish and slow.’
    • ‘New day, same old story - that's the opinion of most motorists who drive through Newry to work or on school runs as they patiently sit in sluggish traffic jams.’
    • ‘Cape clawless otters spend most of their active time in water - especially in quiet ponds, marshes, and sluggish type streams.’
    • ‘Anywhere a track runs down to the shore will do; park the car and watch egrets flapping lazily across the fat and sluggish stream.’
    • ‘However, the sluggish progress of the monsoon and the rising inflation rate as a result of higher crude oil prices has stemmed the possibility of a runaway rally.’
    • ‘The flow in the Ilam Stream has tended to become very sluggish in dry seasons.’
    • ‘The win was made all the more important after UW endured a somewhat sluggish start to the season, falling in their season opener against Windsor earlier this month.’
    • ‘The saturation of the filter elements and the transducer cavity is a very important step to avoid a slow and sluggish pore water pressure response.’
    • ‘Sand tigers are strong but slow moving relatively sluggish sharks that spend most of their time near the bottom looking for food.’
    • ‘After that, for most of the year, the river in Delhi is a sluggish stream of pure sewage.’
    inactive, quiet, slow, slow-moving, slack, flat, depressed, stagnant, static
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    1. 1.1 Lacking energy or alertness.
      ‘Alex woke late feeling tired and sluggish’
      • ‘He appears sluggish and slow, lacking Marcus's energy and sex appeal.’
      • ‘Add to that the lingering effects of injuries, and the defending Pacific champion looked sluggish and uninterested.’
      • ‘‘I felt lethargic and sluggish about things and felt something quite fundamental was not right,’ she says.’
      • ‘Rapid fluctuations in blood sugar can leave you feeling sluggish and lethargic, or even downright irritable and hungry again a mere hour after eating.’
      • ‘I think the days that I haven't been active is when I start feeling very sluggish and I lose the energy, I don't think as clearly.’
      • ‘It's easy to feel sluggish at the beginning of the year, especially after a fortnight of festive celebration and scoff.’
      • ‘I was feeling so sluggish and now I have so much more energy and want to do more - I actually want to get up and be active and go out.’
      • ‘Simplistically speaking, ginseng calms hyper people and gives sluggish people energy.’
      • ‘Slowly, weakly, he curled his arms back around her, his movements sluggish and uncaring.’
      • ‘If you're sluggish, pump quick energy into your system by eating simple carbohydrates.’
      • ‘Henman is looking sluggish and lacking in confidence but manages to fight back from - 30 down to hold.’
      • ‘The body can only tolerate a certain level of these toxins before they begin to build up and make us sluggish, lethargic, irritable and disillusioned with life.’
      • ‘All the members called him Sloth, which perfectly reflected his sluggish and torpid personality.’
      • ‘Money is remiss in its ability to ignite the spirit, and my sluggish muscles betray any conscious compensation I may try to make.’
      • ‘If your employees are sluggish and lack the passion and drive that you see in all those television ads of successful companies forging ahead, how can you give them a boost?’
      • ‘If you feel sluggish or cold back bends will give you energy by stimulating the Kidneys.’
      • ‘My introspection loses a lot of its working energy and becomes sluggish, gloomy, self-nagging and self-doubting.’
      • ‘A typical Scottish fry-up will send them back into sluggish lethargy.’
      • ‘They were lethargic, sluggish and devoid of any ideas of how to break down the defence of the Lions.’
      • ‘I need to sustain my energy without eating so much I become sluggish.’
      lethargic, listless, lacking in energy, unenergetic, lifeless, inert, inactive, slow, torpid, dull, languid, apathetic, passive, unresponsive, weary, tired, fatigued, sleepy, half asleep, drowsy, heavy-eyed, enervated, somnolent
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Slow to respond or make progress.
      ‘the car had been sluggish all morning’
      • ‘The controls were sluggish and would not respond to input.’
      • ‘A test on the site showed that response times were unusually sluggish and downloads slow.’
      • ‘To describe progress as sluggish would be to exaggerate the slug's capacity for forward motion.’
      • ‘Even if we're headed in that direction and the progress is irritatingly sluggish, one shouldn't be grouching about it.’
      • ‘However, the prolonged sluggish economy has slowed the agency's debt restructuring talks with the companies with which it holds the loans.’
      • ‘The number of leasehold interests coming to the market is expected to increase this year due to the sluggish performance of the global economy.’
      • ‘But the sluggish global economy has led many foreign firms to slow overseas expansion, offsetting some of that this year, analysts said.’
      • ‘The sluggish progress results from suspicion and buck-passing on both sides.’
      • ‘Multilateral trade agreements are far preferable, but because of the sluggish progress made under the Doha round - and it will always be so, I fear.’
      • ‘China's stock market is the only one on the rise amid the sluggish global economy.’
      • ‘Operating right at 2,000 pounds over gross, the airplane was sluggish in responding to takeoff power, a good thing as it turned out.’
      • ‘It's no secret that the past few years have been challenging for the art industry as it has dealt with a sluggish economy and many other global struggles.’
      • ‘They said China relies heavily on exports, though its export growth is expected to slow down due to the sluggish world economy.’
      • ‘Finance officials conceded that their job of promoting prosperity was being made harder by the sluggish global economy.’
      • ‘They see a sluggish global economy and remain unconvinced that the weak earnings outlook across most of industry is going to improve.’
      • ‘This is especially important today as consumers keep a weary eye on the sluggish economy before buying big-ticket items.’
      • ‘The Fed is predicted to respond to the more sluggish economy by lowering rates.’
      • ‘Engines usually idle slower and are sluggish to respond until they warm up.’
      • ‘The moves come in an effort to increase revenue in a year which will see the economy slow considerably, bringing sluggish tax revenues and vastly reduced consumer spending.’
      • ‘Despite slowing growth and a sluggish economy, processors remain optimistic about opportunities to boost cheese consumption.’


Late Middle English: from the noun slug or the verb slug (see sluggard) + -ish.