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[skid] /skɪd/
a plank, bar, log, or the like, especially one of a pair, on which something heavy may be slid or rolled along.
one of a number of such logs or timbers forming a skidway.
a low mobile platform on which goods are placed for ease in handling, moving, etc.
Compare stillage.
a plank, log, low platform, etc., on or by which a load is supported.
  1. any of a number of parallel beams or timbers fixed in place as a raised support for boats, spars, etc.
  2. any of a number of timbers on which a heavy object is placed to be shoved along on rollers or slid.
  3. an arrangement of planks serving as a runway for cargo.
  4. an arrangement of planks serving as a fender to protect the side of a vessel during transfer of cargo.
  5. sidewise motion of a vessel; leeway.
a shoe or some other choke or drag for preventing the wheel of a vehicle from rotating, as when descending a hill.
a runner on the under part of some airplanes, enabling the aircraft to slide along the ground when landing.
an unexpected or uncontrollable sliding on a smooth surface by something not rotating, especially an oblique or wavering veering by a vehicle or its tires:
The bus went into a skid on the icy road.
verb (used with object), skidded, skidding.
to place on or slide along a skid.
to check the motion of with a skid:
She skidded her skates to a stop.
to cause to go into a skid:
to skid the car into a turn.
verb (used without object), skidded, skidding.
to slide along without rotating, as a wheel to which a brake has been applied.
to slip or slide sideways, as an automobile in turning a corner rapidly.
to slide forward under the force of momentum after forward motion has been braked, as a vehicle.
(of an airplane when not banked sufficiently) to slide sideways, away from the center of the curve described in turning.
Compare slip1 (def 15).
on the skids, Slang. in the process of decline or deterioration:
His career is on the skids.
put the skids under, Informal. to bring about the downfall of; cause to fail:
Lack of money put the skids under our plans.
the skids, Informal. the downward path to ruin, poverty, or depravity:
After losing his job he began to hit the skids.
Origin of skid
1600-10; 1925-30 for def 18; apparently < Old Norse skith (noun), cognate with Old English scīd thin slip of wood; see ski
Related forms
skiddingly, adverb
antiskidding, adjective
9, 12. slip. 13. slither. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for put the skids under


verb skids, skidding, skidded
to cause (a vehicle) to slide sideways or (of a vehicle) to slide sideways while in motion, esp out of control
(intransitive) to slide without revolving, as the wheel of a moving vehicle after sudden braking
(transitive) (US & Canadian) to put or haul on a skid, esp along a special track
to cause (an aircraft) to slide sideways away from the centre of a turn when insufficiently banked or (of an aircraft) to slide in this manner
an instance of sliding, esp sideways
(mainly US & Canadian) one of the logs forming a skidway
a support on which heavy objects may be stored and moved short distances by sliding
a shoe or drag used to apply pressure to the metal rim of a wheel to act as a brake
on the skids, in decline or about to fail
Derived Forms
skiddy, adjective
Word Origin
C17: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare ski
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 put the skids under



c.1600, "beam or plank on which something rests," especially on which something heavy can be rolled from place to place (1782), of uncertain origin, probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse skið "stick of wood" (see ski (n.)). As "a sliding along" from 1890; specifically of motor vehicles from 1903. Skid-mark is from 1914.

In the timber regions of the American West, skids laid down one after another to form a road were "a poor thing for pleasure walks, but admirably adapted for hauling logs on the ground with a minimum of friction" ["Out West" magazine, October 1903]. A skid as something used to facilitate downhill motion led to figurative phrases such as hit the skids "go into rapid decline" (1909), and cf. skid row.



1670s, "apply a skid to (a wheel, to keep it from turning)," from skid (n.). Meaning "slide along" first recorded 1838; extended sense of "slip sideways" (on a wet road, etc.) first recorded 1884. The original notion is of a block of wood for stopping a wheel; the modern senses are from the notion of a wheel slipping when blocked from revolving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for put the skids under

put the skids under

verb phrase

To cause to fail, be defeated, be rejected, etc: They put the skids under him when they found out he had cheated (1917+)



skell (1980s+ New York City police)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with put the skids under

put the skids under

Bring about the failure or defeat of, as in It was lack of funds that put the skids under the new senior center. The skids here are runners or rollers on which a heavy object may be moved. [ ; early 1900s ]


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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