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[slingk] /slɪŋk/
verb (used without object), slunk or (Archaic) slank; slunk; slinking.
to move or go in a furtive, abject manner, as from fear, cowardice, or shame.
to walk or move in a slow, sinuous, provocative way.
verb (used with object), slunk or (Archaic) slank; slunk; slinking.
(especially of cows) to bring forth (young) prematurely.
a prematurely born calf or other animal.
born prematurely:
a slink calf.
Origin of slink
before 1150; Middle English slynken (v.), Old English slincan to creep, crawl; cognate with Low German slinken, German schlinken
Related forms
slinkingly, adverb
outslink, verb (used with object), outslunk, outslinking.
unslinking, adjective
Can be confused
sling, slink.
1. skulk, sneak; lurk. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for slinking
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And with the detective went a man whose gait was slinking, craven.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Mr. Beaufort followed them with a mortified and slinking air.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Mr Merdle was slinking about the hearthrug, waiting to welcome Mrs Sparkler.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • His manner was smooth and humble, but very sly and slinking.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • Behind them lurched another man, slinking in the background.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • “Gladly,” says he, slinking off (to the sleeping-place) above the stove.

    Russian Fairy Tales W. R. S. Ralston
  • slinking is one of the greatest pests to which a breeder is subjected.

    Cattle and Cattle-breeders William M'Combie
British Dictionary definitions for slinking


verb slinks, slinking, slunk
(intransitive) to move or act in a furtive or cringing manner from or as if from fear, guilt, etc
(intransitive) to move in a sinuous alluring manner
(transitive) (of animals, esp cows) to give birth to prematurely
  1. an animal, esp a calf, born prematurely
  2. (as modifier): slink veal
Word Origin
Old English slincan; related to Middle Low German slinken to shrink, Old Swedish slinka to creep, Danish slunken limp
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 slinking



Old English slincan "to creep, crawl" (of reptiles), from Proto-Germanic *slinkan (cf. Swedish slinka "to glide," Dutch slinken "to shrink, shrivel;" related to sling (v.)). Of persons, attested from late 14c. Related: Slinked; slinking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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