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verb (used without object), back·slid, back·slid or back·slid·den, back·slid·ing.
  1. to relapse into bad habits, sinful behavior, or undesirable activities.
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  1. an act or instance of backsliding: a backslide from his early training.
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Origin of backslide

First recorded in 1575–85; back2 + slide
Related formsback·slid·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

relapse, lapse, revert, sin, apostatize, slip, deviate

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British Dictionary definitions for backslide


verb -slides, -sliding, -slid, -slid or -slidden
  1. (intr) to lapse into bad habits or vices from a state of virtue, religious faith, etc
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Derived Formsbackslider, noun
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

Word Origin and History for backslide


in the religious sense, 1580s, from back (adj.) + slide (v.). Related: Backslider; backsliding (1550s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper