\ \ [12] Sleuth originally meant ‘track, trail’ (‘John of Lorn perceived the hound had lost the sleuth’, John Barbour, The Bruce 1375). It was borrowed from Old Norse slóthtrack, trail’, which was probably also the ultimate source of English slottrail of an animal’ [16]. In the 14th century the compound sleuth-houndbloodhound for tracking fugitives’ was coined.
\ \ This was later shortened back to sleuth, and applied in 19th-century America to a ‘detective’.
\ \ Cf.SLOT

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Sleuth — is a reference to detective work and may refer to:Theatre and film* Sleuth (play) a 1970 play by Anthony Shaffer * Sleuth (1972 film), a film adaptation of the Anthony Shaffer play, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz * Sleuth (2007 film), a film… …   Wikipedia

  • Sleuth — Sleuth, n. [Icel. sl[=o][eth]. See {Slot} a track.] The track of man or beast as followed by the scent. [Scot.] Halliwell. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sleuth — (engl. für Detektiv, Spürhund) steht für den Originaltitel des Theaterstücks Revanche (Theaterstück) von Anthony Shaffer aus dem Jahr 1970, Grundlage für zwei Filme, ebenfalls mit dem Originaltitel sleuth: Mord mit kleinen Fehlern aus dem Jahr… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • sleuth — [slu:θ] n old fashioned [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: sleuthhound dog used for tracking people (14 20 centuries), from sleuth track (12 15 centuries) (from Old Norse sloth) + hound] someone who tries to find out information about a crime = ↑detective …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • sleuth´er — sleuth «slooth», noun, verb. –n. 1. Informal. a detective. 2. = bloodhound. (Cf. ↑bloodhound) –v.i. Informal. to be or act like a detective. ╂[< Scandinavian (compare Old Icelandic slōth) a trail] –sleuth´er, noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • sleuth — index research, spy Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • sleuth — [ sluθ ] noun count MAINLY JOURNALISM someone who tries to solve crimes or mysteries: DETECTIVE …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • sleuth — (n.) c.1200, track or trail of a person, from O.N. sloð trail, of uncertain origin. Meaning detective is 1872, shortening of sleuthhound keen investigator (1849), a figurative use of a word for a kind of bloodhound that dates back to late 14c.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • sleuth — [n] detective agent, bloodhound*, cop, dick*, eavesdropper, flatfoot*, gumshoe*, investigator, P.I.*, police officer, private detective, private eye, private investigator, sleuthhound, spy, tail*, tracker; concept 348 …   New thesaurus

  • sleuth — informal ► NOUN ▪ a detective. ► VERB ▪ carry out a search or investigation in the manner of a detective. ORIGIN originally in the sense «track»: from Old Norse …   English terms dictionary

  • sleuth — [slo͞oth′hound΄slo͞oth] n. [ME, a trail, spoor < ON slóth, akin to slothra, to drag (oneself) ahead: for IE base see SLUG1] 1. Rare a dog, as a bloodhound, that can follow a trail by scent: also sleuthhound [slo͞oth′hound΄ ] ☆ 2. DETECTIVE (n …   English World dictionary

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