verb (used with object)
to spread or apply thickly: to slather butter on toast.
to spread something thickly on (usually followed by with): to slather toast with butter.
to spend or use lavishly.
Often slathers. a generous amount: slathers of money.
open slather, Australian. complete freedom.
Origin of slather
1810–20, in sense “to slip, slide”; origin uncertain
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for open slather
(usually plural) informal a large quantity
open slather Australian and NZ slang a situation in which there are no restrictions; free-for-all
verb (tr) US and Canadian slang
to squander or waste
to spread thickly or lavishly
Word Origin for slather
C19: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for open slather
"spread liberally," 1847, of uncertain origin. Early 19c. local glossaries from western England have the word with a sense "to slip or slide."
Slather on the manure on all the hoed crops, if you have it; if not buy of your improvident neighbor. ["Genesee Farmer," June 1847]
Sometimes said to be from a dialectal noun meaning "large amount" (usually as plural, slathers), but this is first attested 1855. Related: Slathered; slathering.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper