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verb (used without object), slunk or (Archaic) slank; slunk; slink·ing.
  1. to move or go in a furtive, abject manner, as from fear, cowardice, or shame.
  2. to walk or move in a slow, sinuous, provocative way.
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verb (used with object), slunk or (Archaic) slank; slunk; slink·ing.
  1. (especially of cows) to bring forth (young) prematurely.
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  1. a prematurely born calf or other animal.
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  1. born prematurely: a slink calf.
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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

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for slinking

skulk, slither, lurk, undulate, skitter, prowl, sidle, sneak, meander, pussyfoot, glide, cower, glissade, slick, coast, slide, snake, slip, shirk, steal

Examples from the Web for slinking

Contemporary Examples of slinking

Historical Examples of slinking

  • And with the detective went a man whose gait was slinking, craven.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Mr. Beaufort followed them with a mortified and slinking air.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Mr Merdle was slinking about the hearthrug, waiting to welcome Mrs Sparkler.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • His manner was smooth and humble, but very sly and slinking.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • Behind them lurched another man, slinking in the background.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

British Dictionary definitions for slinking


verb slinks, slinking or slunk
  1. (intr) to move or act in a furtive or cringing manner from or as if from fear, guilt, etc
  2. (intr) to move in a sinuous alluring manner
  3. (tr) (of animals, esp cows) to give birth to prematurely
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    1. an animal, esp a calf, born prematurely
    2. (as modifier)slink veal
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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 slinking



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper