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[slith -er] /ˈslɪð ər/
verb (used without object)
to slide down or along a surface, especially unsteadily, from side to side, or with some friction or noise:
The box slithered down the chute.
to go or walk with a sliding motion:
The snake slithered across the path.
verb (used with object)
to cause to slither or slide.
a slithering movement; slide.
Origin of slither
1150-1200; Middle English slitheren, variant of sliddren, Old English slid(e)rian, frequentative of slīdan to slide; see -er6
Related forms
slithery, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for slithered
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We slipped and slithered and wallowed about, but we got to the top.

  • Tommy, of course, slithered down over the limpets in the ordinary way.

    First Plays A. A. Milne
  • She shivered as the loose shale, ploughed by the pony's flying hoofs, slithered down the slope at every plunge.

    Overland Red Henry Herbert Knibbs
  • One of them swung round at once and slithered down the path.

    King of the Air Herbert Strang
  • I slithered along at about six miles an hour, sticking out my legs for a permanent scaffolding.

British Dictionary definitions for slithered


to move or slide or cause to move or slide unsteadily, as on a slippery surface
(intransitive) to travel with a sliding motion
a slithering motion
Word Origin
Old English slidrian, from slīdan to slide
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 slithered



early 15c., variant of Middle English slidder "to slip, slide," from Old English slidrian "to slip, slide on a loose slope," a frequentative form of slidan "to slide" (see slide (v.)). For spelling change, cf. gather. Meaning "to walk in a sliding manner" is attested from 1848. In reference to reptile motion, attested from 1839. Related: Slithered; slithering.


"slithering movement," 1861, from slither (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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