Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[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. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for slithering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A squeaking and slithering, now greater than ever, rose above all other sounds.

  • Now, what will that chap be doing there, slithering about over the water?

    The Ocean Cat's Paw George Manville Fenn
  • He heard the slithering sound of Lorenzo's sword being drawn.

  • Out of the silence came the slithering step of some one walking in the sand.

    Overland Red Henry Herbert Knibbs
  • Dragging his pony to a slithering halt, he leaped to the ground.

    Steve Yeager William MacLeod Raine
  • Jaffery's mind went back to the Bedlam of the slithering cargo.

    Jaffery William J. Locke
  • I pushed on through the clinging, maddening gumbo, slithering and sliding.

    Tramping on Life Harry Kemp
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for slither

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for slithering

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for slithering