[ skid ]
See synonyms for: skidskiddedskidding on

  1. a plank, bar, log, or the like, especially one of a pair, on which something heavy may be slid or rolled along.

  2. one of a number of such logs or timbers forming a skidway.

  1. a low mobile platform on which goods are placed for ease in handling, moving, etc.: Compare stillage.

  2. a plank, log, low platform, etc., on or by which a load is supported.

  3. Nautical.

    • any of a number of parallel beams or timbers fixed in place as a raised support for boats, spars, etc.

    • any of a number of timbers on which a heavy object is placed to be shoved along on rollers or slid.

    • an arrangement of planks serving as a runway for cargo.

    • an arrangement of planks serving as a fender to protect the side of a vessel during transfer of cargo.

    • sidewise motion of a vessel; leeway.

  4. a shoe or some other choke or drag for preventing the wheel of a vehicle from rotating, as when descending a hill.

  5. a runner on the under part of some airplanes, enabling the aircraft to slide along the ground when landing.

  6. an unexpected or uncontrollable sliding on a smooth surface by something not rotating, especially an oblique or wavering veering by a vehicle or its tires: The bus went into a skid on the icy road.

verb (used with object),skid·ded, skid·ding.
  1. to place on or slide along a skid.

  2. to check the motion of with a skid: She skidded her skates to a stop.

  1. to cause to go into a skid: to skid the car into a turn.

verb (used without object),skid·ded, skid·ding.
  1. to slide along without rotating, as a wheel to which a brake has been applied.

  2. to slip or slide sideways, as an automobile in turning a corner rapidly.

  1. to slide forward under the force of momentum after forward motion has been braked, as a vehicle.

  2. (of an airplane when not banked sufficiently) to slide sideways, away from the center of the curve described in turning.: Compare slip1 (def. 15).

Idioms about skid

  1. on the skids, Slang. in the process of decline or deterioration: His career is on the skids.

  2. put the skids under, Informal. to bring about the downfall of; cause to fail: Lack of money put the skids under our plans.

  1. the skids, Informal. the downward path to ruin, poverty, or depravity: After losing his job he began to hit the skids.

Origin of skid

1600–10; 1925–30 for def. 18; apparently <Old Norse skith (noun), cognate with Old English scīd thin slip of wood; see ski

Other words for skid

Other words from skid

  • skid·ding·ly, adverb
  • an·ti·skid·ding, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use skid in a sentence

  • Last December a Continental 737 taking off from Denver aborted at the last second and, in icy conditions, skidded into a ravine.

  • The revolver cracked, the piece of wood skidded on the surface of the water and there was no splash.

  • He skidded and fell, and had to run at a slower pace to keep his footing.

    The Status Civilization | Robert Sheckley
  • Lester flopped heavily, and skidded across the bottom of the 'drome.

    The Planet Strappers | Raymond Zinke Gallun
  • Too late; the wide-winged fighter skidded like a motorbus on a greasy road and fell into the clouds sideways.

    Tam O' The Scoots | Edgar Wallace
  • Then the motors shut off, and Mac skidded several feet up the ladder.

    Tight Squeeze | Dean Charles Ing

British Dictionary definitions for skid


/ (skɪd) /

verbskids, skidding or skidded
  1. to cause (a vehicle) to slide sideways or (of a vehicle) to slide sideways while in motion, esp out of control

  2. (intr) to slide without revolving, as the wheel of a moving vehicle after sudden braking

  1. (tr) US and Canadian to put or haul on a skid, esp along a special track

  2. to cause (an aircraft) to slide sideways away from the centre of a turn when insufficiently banked or (of an aircraft) to slide in this manner

  1. an instance of sliding, esp sideways

  2. mainly US and Canadian one of the logs forming a skidway

  1. a support on which heavy objects may be stored and moved short distances by sliding

  2. a shoe or drag used to apply pressure to the metal rim of a wheel to act as a brake

  3. on the skids in decline or about to fail

Origin of skid

C17: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare ski

Derived forms of skid

  • skiddy, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with skid


In addition to the idiom beginning with skid

  • skid row

also see:

  • on the skids
  • put the skids on
  • put the skids under

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.