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[slath -er] /ˈslæð ər/ Informal.
verb (used with object)
to spread or apply thickly:
to slather butter on toast.
to spread something thickly on (usually followed by with):
to slather toast with butter.
to spend or use lavishly.
Often, slathers. a generous amount:
slathers of money.
open slather, Australian. complete freedom.
Origin of slather
1810-20, in sense “to slip, slide”; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for slathers
Historical Examples
  • He had slews and slathers of money, as Yankee Bill would say.

    A Son Of The Sun Jack London
  • The rains have brought mushrooms, slathers of mushrooms, and I joy in gathering them.

    The Prairie Child Arthur Stringer
  • And they get slathers of money—most a dollar a day, Ben Rogers says.

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Avoid putting on the adhesive material in "gobs and slathers."

    The Butterfly Book William Jacob Holland
  • They've got slathers of money an' they're sure dippy on each other.

    The Turtles of Tasman Jack London
  • Why, he had slathers of money, and Freda was just the girl to grace it.

  • That was the way things came to Warble; in slathers—in big fat chunks.

    Ptomaine Street Carolyn Wells
  • Fate laid on in broad strokes—in great splashes—in slathers.

    Ptomaine Street Carolyn Wells
  • He kept very close to himself, but he always seemed to have slathers of money.

  • Then, he drew together a great heap of crisp shavings and slathers, plentifully besprinkling it with what remained in the can.

    At Fault Kate Chopin.
British Dictionary definitions for slathers


(usually pl) (informal) a large quantity
(Austral & NZ, slang) open slather, a situation in which there are no restrictions; free-for-all
verb (transitive) (US & Canadian, slang)
to squander or waste
to spread thickly or lavishly
Word Origin
C19: of unknown origin
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 slathers



"spread liberally," 1847, of uncertain origin. Early 19c. local glossaries from western England have the word with a sense "to slip or slide."

Slather on the manure on all the hoed crops, if you have it; if not buy of your improvident neighbor. ["Genesee Farmer," June 1847]
Sometimes said to be from a dialectal noun meaning "large amount" (usually as plural, slathers), but this is first attested 1855. Related: Slathered; slathering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for slathers



A large quantity; oodles: It cost the railroads slathers of money

[1857+; ultimately fr Irish sliotar]

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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