adj. slop·pi·er, slop·pi·est
1. Marked by or given to a lack of neatness or order; untidy: a sloppy room; a sloppy roommate.
2. Showing or in the habit of using little care or attention: sloppy use of language; a sloppy researcher.
3. Informal Oversentimental; gushy: a sloppy love letter.
4. Of, resembling, or covered with slop; muddy or slushy: sloppy ground.
5. Watery and unappetizing: a sloppy stew.
6. Spotted or splashed with liquid.
Synonyms: sloppy, slovenly, unkempt, slipshod
These adjectives mean marked by an absence of due or proper care or attention. Sloppy evokes the idea of careless spilling, spotting, or splashing; it suggests slackness, untidiness, or diffuseness: a sloppy kitchen; sloppy dress. "I do not see how the sloppiest reasoner can evade that" (H.G. Wells).
Slovenly implies habitual negligence and a lack of system or thoroughness: a slovenly appearance; slovenly inaccuracies. Unkempt stresses dishevelment resulting from a neglectful lack of proper maintenance: "an unwashed brow, an unkempt head of hair" (Sir Walter Scott).
Slipshod suggests inattention to detail and a general absence of meticulousness: "the new owners' camp ... a slipshod and slovenly affair, tent half stretched, dishes unwashed" (Jack London).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.