Origin of slink

before 1150; Middle English slynken (v.), Old English slincan to creep, crawl; cognate with Low German slinken, German schlinken
Related formsslink·ing·ly, adverbout·slink, verb (used with object), out·slunk, out·slink·ing.un·slink·ing, adjective
Can be confusedsling slink

Synonyms for slink

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for slink

Contemporary Examples of slink

  • Jones, ever the charmer, proceeds to slink behind the desk and begin fake-hammering away at the keyboard.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Felicity Jones Is Bound for Stardom

    Marlow Stern

    December 29, 2013

  • We began to slink outside, tentatively crossing the terrace.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Our Visit From Irene

    India Hicks

    August 27, 2011

Historical Examples of slink

  • He waited his opportunity to slink out of camp to the woods.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • He would have succeeded, nevertheless, had he not been so ready to slink off as soon as you looked at him.

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad

  • You can't hope to slink past a cunning, wide-awake, evil brute like he was.

    The Shadow-Line

    Joseph Conrad

  • I believe my faith the higher, the better for mankind—Am I to slink away?

  • Can I slink by a side-road out of sight of my own intelligence?'

    Despair's Last Journey

    David Christie Murray

British Dictionary definitions for slink


verb slinks, slinking or slunk

(intr) to move or act in a furtive or cringing manner from or as if from fear, guilt, etc
(intr) to move in a sinuous alluring manner
(tr) (of animals, esp cows) to give birth to prematurely


  1. an animal, esp a calf, born prematurely
  2. (as modifier)slink veal

Word Origin for slink

Old English slincan; related to Middle Low German slinken to shrink, Old Swedish slinka to creep, Danish slunken limp
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 slink

Old English slincan "to creep, crawl" (of reptiles), from Proto-Germanic *slinkan (cf. Swedish slinka "to glide," Dutch slinken "to shrink, shrivel;" related to sling (v.)). Of persons, attested from late 14c. Related: Slinked; slinking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper