1. Displaying little movement or activity; slow; inactive: a sluggish stream; sluggish growth.
2. Lacking alertness, vigor, or energy; inert or indolent.
3. Slow to perform or respond to stimulation.
[Middle English, probably from slugge, lazy person; see SLUG2.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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.