verb (used without object), back·slid, back·slid or back·slid·den, back·slid·ing.

to relapse into bad habits, sinful behavior, or undesirable activities.


an act or instance of backsliding: a backslide from his early training.

Nearby words

  1. backside-to,
  2. backsight,
  3. backslap,
  4. backslapping,
  5. backslash,
  6. backsliding,
  7. backsource,
  8. backspace,
  9. backspin,
  10. backsplash

Origin of backslide

First recorded in 1575–85; back2 + slide

Related formsback·slid·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for backslide

British Dictionary definitions for backslide


verb -slides, -sliding, -slid, -slid or -slidden

(intr) to lapse into bad habits or vices from a state of virtue, religious faith, etc
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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper