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.

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

Related Words for backslide

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

Examples from the Web for backslide

Contemporary Examples of backslide

Historical Examples of 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