verb (used with object), sliced, slic·ing.

verb (used without object), sliced, slic·ing.

Origin of slice

1300–50; (noun) Middle English s(c)lice < Old French esclice, noun derivative of esclicer to split up < Frankish *slitjan, akin to Old English slītan, Old Norse slīta, Dutch slījten (see slit); (v.) late Middle English sklicen < Old French esclicer
Related formsslice·a·ble, adjectiveslic·ing·ly, adverbpre·slice, verb (used with object), pre·sliced, pre·slic·ing.un·sliced, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for slice

Contemporary Examples of slice

Historical Examples of slice

British Dictionary definitions for slice



a thin flat piece cut from something having bulka slice of pork
a share or portiona slice of the company's revenue
any of various utensils having a broad flat blade and resembling a spatula
(in golf, tennis, etc)
  1. the flight of a ball that travels obliquely because it has been struck off centre
  2. the action of hitting such a shot
  3. the shot so hit


to divide or cut (something) into parts or slices
(when intr, usually foll by through) to cut in a clean and effortless manner
(when intr, foll by through) to move or go (through something) like a knifethe ship sliced through the water
(usually foll by off, from, away, etc) to cut or be cut (from) a larger piece
(tr) to remove by use of a slicing implement
to hit (a ball) with a slice
(tr) rowing to put the blade of the oar into (the water) slantwise
Derived Formssliceable, adjectiveslicer, noun

Word Origin for slice

C14: from Old French esclice a piece split off, from esclicier to splinter
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 slice

c.1300, "a fragment," from Old French escliz "splinter, fragment" (Modern French éclisse), a back-formation from esclicier "to splinter, shatter, smash," from Frankish *slitan "to split" or some other Germanic source (cf. Old High German slihhan; see slit (v.)). Meaning "piece cut from something" emerged early 15c. Meaning "a slicing stroke" (in golf, tennis) is recorded from 1886. Slice of life (1895) translates French tranche de la vie, a term from French Naturalist literature.


late 15c., from Middle French esclicier, from Old French escliz (see slice (n.)). Golfing sense is from 1890. Related: Sliced; slicing. Sliced bread introduced 1958; greatest thing since ... first attested 1969.

No matter how thick or how thin you slice it it's still baloney. [Carl Sandburg, "The People, Yes," 1936]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with slice


In addition to the subsequent idiom beginning with slice

  • slice of the pie

also see:

  • greatest thing since sliced bread
  • no matter how you slice it
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.