9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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 slithering
  • Apparently wormlike creatures had evolved by this time and were slithering across the seafloor.
  • In the air, it flattens its body and undulates, as if slithering through the air.
  • Advancing a few steps more, the rustling continued, but with an increasing slithering quality that sent shivers up my spine.
  • We'll have a tsunami of cancellations when word gets out that paradise is infested with slithering serpents.
  • Thin tubes and wires snake off the servers, slithering into the corners.
  • But waving flags, grinning monsters, or slithering marquees are unlikely to add much value.
  • We'll reveal your odds of ever being bitten and your odds of ever dying from these slithering creatures' venom.
  • But the underlying cause is the human fear of slithering serpents.
  • The tail cloud rotated slowly about a horizontal axis, sliding and slithering into the wall cloud.
  • Other animals move using fins, wings or by slithering.
British Dictionary definitions for slithering


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 slithering



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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