slovenly means untidy, messy, and generally disheveled in appearance or manner.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech

adverb or adjective


unkempt, messy, untidy, disheveled, scruffy, shabby, careless, slipshod, dilapidated, neglected, scruffy


neat, tidy, well-groomed, prim, spruce, dapper, immaculate, clean, organized, meticulous, methodical.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun slovenliness, slovenlinesses, slovens, sloven
Verb None
Adjective slovenly
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • He was reprimanded by the boss for his slovenly work, which failed to meet the required standards.

  • Janice was famous for her slovenly appearance and would often show up at work with wrinkled clothes and unkempt hair.

  • The house was in a slovenly state, with dirty dishes piled up in the sink and clutter strewn across the floor.

  • The students received poor marks for the slovenly presentation of their project, which was marked by spelling errors, bad grammar, and unclear sentences.


Slovenly is a versatile word that can be used as an adjective or adverb to describe someone or something that is untidy or disheveled in appearance or manner. It may also be used to describe work or behavior that is careless or negligent, indicating a lack of attention to detail or an unwillingness to put in the effort necessary to do a task properly. The word has a negative connotation and is often used to convey a sense of disapproval or criticism.

The word slovenly comes from the root word “sloven” which means an untidy or lazy person. It often carries a sense of disrespect, as it implies that a person is not taking proper care of themselves, their belongings, or their work. It can also be used to describe the state of a place or environment, indicating that it is in a disheveled or unkempt condition.

Slovenly is sometimes used with a prefix or suffix to modify its meaning. For example, adding the prefix “un” creates the word “unslovenly,” which means tidy or neat. Adding the suffix “ness” creates the word “slovenliness,” which refers to the state of being slovenly. Other variations of the word include “sloven,” “slovenish,” and “slovenry,” which are all related to the idea of untidiness or laziness.

Overall, the word slovenly is a negative term that is used to criticize or disapprove of those who are careless, untidy or lazy. It is a useful word to describe someone or something that is disorganized or unkempt, and can be modified with various prefixes and suffixes to convey different meanings.