"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[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
  • We were screaming and running around on the jetty while the eel slithered around on the line.
  • He programmed robots that slithered into abandoned mines and came back hours later with detailed maps of the interior.
  • And he wore this stuff long before grunge slithered onto the market.
  • But something happened when our aquatic ancestors first slithered onto the land.
  • In that period the economy has slithered towards recession.
  • Virtual creatures slithered through the water and peered out from behind the real museum's support pillars.
  • Stories about water serpents have slithered into many cultures.
  • Snakes have slithered into the folklore of many cultures.
  • They were there to catch and return to the wild a rattlesnake that had slithered indoors.
  • But it was only a small crocodile, and it slithered at once into the safety of the river.
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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