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[bak-slahyd] /ˈbækˌslaɪd/
verb (used without object), backslid, backslid or backslidden, backsliding.
to relapse into bad habits, sinful behavior, or undesirable activities.
an act or instance of backsliding:
a backslide from his early training.
Origin of backslide
1575-85; back2 + slide
Related forms
backslider, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for backslide
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And I did hope that the convert was not tempted to backslide and swerve from the truth in his answers.

    An Australian in China George Ernest Morrison
  • She was only thinking that "it was a heap better to repent 'n to backslide."

  • So far as is known the converted enemy to Society did not backslide; the Lone Wolf never prowled again.

    Alias The Lone Wolf Louis Joseph Vance
  • They will no longer be tolerated, nor will converted Israel backslide again.

    The Prophet Ezekiel Arno C. Gaebelein
  • Did not I, even I, in thy presence, backslide into intemperance and folly?

    Jacob Faithful Captain Frederick Marryat
  • If thou turn us not, we shall never turn; it is in our nature to backslide for ever.

    The Power of Faith Isabella Graham
  • Having slept in a duchess's bed, Kedzie would not backslide.

    We Can't Have Everything Rupert Hughes
  • They are backsliders on their knees long before they backslide openly in the eyes of the world.

    Practical Religion John Charles Ryle
  • It is a thing of very common occurrence, inside the different denominations, for their members to backslide, as they call it.

British Dictionary definitions for backslide


verb -slides, -sliding, -slid, -slid, -slidden
(intransitive) to lapse into bad habits or vices from a state of virtue, religious faith, etc
Derived Forms
backslider, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for backslide

in the religious sense, 1580s, from back (adj.) + slide (v.). Related: Backslider; backsliding (1550s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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backslide in the Bible

to draw back or apostatize in matters of religion (Acts 21:21; 2 Thess. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1). This may be either partial (Prov. 14:14) or complete (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:38, 39). The apostasy may be both doctrinal and moral.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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