Definition of slattern in US English:



  • A dirty, untidy woman.

    ‘a slattern, her lipstick awry’
    ‘here dwelt the drunks and the slatterns’
    • ‘So one might become, for example, an alcoholic, violent, or an hysteric, or a slattern or a bully, if that is what a parent was like.’
    • ‘Modern viewers might suppose they are looking at a period slattern, but the original audience likely would have seen the image very differently: as an illustration of virtue.’
    • ‘The women who do appear are usually painted in lurid colours as prostitutes and slatterns, or as the odd lonely, isolated ‘lady’, having a thoroughly miserable time of it.’
    • ‘The slattern swallowed nervously, but then she straightened, and defiant spite flashed in her eyes, made even stronger by the shame of her own fear as she realized he wasn't going to attack her after all.’
    • ‘Is it the slattern who generates offspring solely for the sake of the allotment they command?’
    • ‘He has managed to look past her grinning liberal facade and seen the power mad slattern within.’
    • ‘Phoebe and Audrey were trapped within stereotypes of the flouncing young miss and the buxom slattern respectively.’
    • ‘Thorn only felt sorry for the slatterns, and wished she could help them - she didn't hate them because of their jobs, like so many others did.’
    • ‘She was sociable and extravagant, spending large sums on jewellery and furs, and decorated their home with frills and bows, yet at the same time she liked a tipple and was something of a slattern.’
    • ‘My father may have been ‘posh’, but I was a complex individual, with no intention of being reduced to some convenient stereotype to fill out a box on a slattern's list of conquests.’


Mid 17th century: related to slattering ‘slovenly’, from dialect slatter ‘to spill, slop’, frequentative of slat ‘strike’, of unknown origin.