[ slip ]
See synonyms for: slipslippedslippingslips on

verb (used without object),slipped or (Archaic) slipt [slipt]; /slɪpt/; slipped; slip·ping.
  1. to move, flow, pass, or go smoothly or easily; glide; slide: Water slips off a smooth surface.

  2. to slide suddenly or involuntarily; to lose one's foothold, as on a smooth surface: She slipped on the icy ground.

  1. to move, slide, or start gradually from a place or position: His hat had slipped over his eyes.

  2. to slide out of or become disengaged from a fastening, the grasp, etc.: The soap slipped from my hand.

  3. to pass without having been acted upon or used; be lost; get away: to let an opportunity slip.

  4. to pass from the mind, memory, or consciousness.

  5. to elapse or pass quickly or imperceptibly (often followed by away or by): The years slipped by.

  6. to become involved or absorbed easily: to slip into a new way of life.

  7. to move or go quietly, cautiously, or unobtrusively: to slip out of a room.

  8. to put on or take off a garment easily or quickly:She slipped on the new sweater. He slipped off his shoes.

  9. to make a mistake or error: As far as I know, you haven't slipped once.

  10. to fall below a standard or accustomed level, or to decrease in quantity or quality; decline; deteriorate: His work slipped last year.

  11. to be said or revealed inadvertently (usually followed by out): The words just slipped out.

  12. to read, study, consider, etc., without attention: He slipped over the most important part.

  13. Aeronautics. (of an aircraft when excessively banked) to slide sideways, toward the center of the curve described in turning.: Compare skid (def. 15).

verb (used with object),slipped or (Archaic) slipt [slipt]; /slɪpt/; slipped; slip·ping.
  1. to cause to move, pass, go, etc., with a smooth, easy, or sliding motion.

  2. to put, place, pass, insert, or withdraw quickly or stealthily: to slip a letter into a person's hand.

  1. to put on or take off (a garment) easily or quickly: He slipped the shirt over his head.

  2. to let or make (something) slide out of a fastening, the hold, etc.: I slipped the lock, and the door creaked open.

  3. to release from a leash, harness, etc., as a hound or a hawk.

  4. to get away or free oneself from; escape (a pursuer, restraint, leash, etc.): The cow slipped its halter.

  5. to untie or undo (a knot).

  6. Nautical. to let go entirely, as an anchor cable or an anchor.

  7. to pass from or escape (one's memory, attention, knowledge, etc.).

  8. to dislocate; put out of joint or position: I slipped a disk in my back.

  9. to shed or cast: The rattlesnake slipped its skin.

  10. to ignore, pass over, or omit, as in speaking or writing.

  11. to let pass unheeded; neglect or miss.

  12. Boxing. to evade or avoid (a blow) by moving or turning the body quickly: He slipped a right and countered with a hard left.

  13. (of animals) to bring forth (offspring) prematurely.

  14. British. to detach (a railway car) from a moving train as it passes through a station.

  1. an act or instance of slipping.

  2. a sudden losing of one's foothold, as on slippery ground.

  1. a mistake in judgment; blunder.

  2. a mistake or oversight, as in speaking or writing, especially a small one due to carelessness: a minor slip in addition; a slip of the tongue; a slip of the pen.

  3. an error in conduct; indiscretion.

  4. something easily slipped on or off.

  5. a decline or fall in quantity, quality, extent, etc., or from a standard or accustomed level: a slip in prices.

  6. Clothing.

    • a woman's undergarment, sleeveless and usually having shoulder straps, extending from above the bust down to the hemline of the outer dress.

    • an underskirt, as a half-slip or petticoat.

  7. a pillowcase.

  8. an inclined plane, sloping to the water, on which vessels are built or repaired.

  9. Nautical. the difference between the speed at which a screw propeller or paddle wheel would move if it were working against a solid and the actual speed at which it advances through the water.

  10. a space between two wharves or in a dock for vessels to lie in.

  11. Electricity. the difference between the synchronous and the operating speeds of a motor.

  12. Machinery.

    • the difference between output speed and input or theoretical speed in certain fluid or electromagnetic devices, as couplings or motors.

    • (in pumps) the difference between the actual volume of water or other liquid delivered by a pump during one complete stroke and the theoretical volume as determined by calculation of the displacement.

  13. unintended movement or play between mechanical parts or the like.

  14. Cricket.

    • the position of a fielder who stands behind and to the offside of the wicketkeeper.

    • the fielder playing this position.

  15. Geology.

    • the relative displacement of formerly adjacent points on opposite sides of a fault, measured along the fault plane.

    • a small fault.

  16. Also called glide .Metallurgy. plastic deformation of one part of a metallic crystal relative to the other part due to shearing action.

Verb Phrases
  1. slip away,

    • to depart quietly or unobtrusively; steal off.

    • to recede; slowly vanish: All those facts I had memorized just slipped away.

  2. slip up, to make an error; fail: I slipped up and put the letter in the wrong envelope.

Idioms about slip

  1. give someone the slip, to elude a pursuer; escape: The murderer gave the police the slip.

  2. let slip, to reveal unintentionally: to let slip the truth.

  1. slip a cog. cog1 (def. 6).

  2. slip between the cracks. crack (def. 53).

  3. slip someone's mind, to be forgotten: I was supposed to phone, but it slipped my mind.

  4. slip something over on, to deceive; defraud; trick.: Also slip one over on.

Origin of slip

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English verb slippen, from Middle Dutch slippen; cognate with Old High German slipfen; late Middle English noun slippe, derivative of or akin to the verb; compare Old High German slipf “a sliding, slipping, error”; akin to slipper2

synonym study For slip

1, 2. See slide. 35. See mistake.

Other words for slip

Other words from slip

  • slipless, adjective
  • slip·ping·ly, adverb

Words Nearby slip

Other definitions for slip (2 of 4)

[ slip ]

  1. a small paper form on which information is noted: a withdrawal slip.

  2. a piece suitable for propagation cut from a plant; scion or cutting.

  1. any long, narrow piece or strip, as of wood, paper, or land.

  2. a young person, especially one of slender form: a mere slip of a girl.

  3. a long seat or narrow pew in a church.

  4. Bookbinding. one of the ends of a band, extending at the sides of a book after sewing.

verb (used with object),slipped, slip·ping.
  1. to take slips or cuttings from (a plant).

  2. to take (a part), as a slip from a plant.

Origin of slip

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English slip(pe) “edge of a garment,” from Middle Dutch, Middle Low German slippe “flap (of a piece of clothing)”

Other definitions for slip (3 of 4)

[ slip ]

  1. Ceramics. a clay solution of creamy consistency for coating or decorating biscuit.

  2. a glass-bearing liquid fired onto steel as a cladding, as in making enamelware.

Origin of slip

First recorded before 1000; Middle English slyppe, Old English slype “semiliquid mass”; cf. slop1, cowslip, oxlip

Other definitions for slip (4 of 4)

[ slip ]

  1. a variant of slype. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use slip in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for slip (1 of 3)


/ (slɪp) /

verbslips, slipping or slipped
  1. to move or cause to move smoothly and easily

  2. (tr) to place, insert, or convey quickly or stealthily

  1. (tr) to put on or take off easily or quickly: to slip on a sweater

  2. (intr) to lose balance and slide unexpectedly: he slipped on the ice

  3. to let loose or be let loose

  4. to be released from (something); escape

  5. (tr) to let go (mooring or anchor lines) over the side

  6. (when intr, often foll by from or out of) to pass out of (the mind or memory)

  7. (tr) to overlook, neglect, or miss: to slip an opportunity

  8. (intr) to move or pass swiftly or unperceived: to slip quietly out of the room

  9. (intr sometimes foll by up) to make a mistake

  10. Also: sideslip to cause (an aircraft) to slide sideways or (of an aircraft) to slide sideways

  11. (intr) to decline in health, mental ability, etc

  12. (intr) (of an intervertebral disc) to become displaced from the normal position

  13. (tr) to dislocate (a bone)

  14. (of animals) to give birth to (offspring) prematurely

  15. (tr) to pass (a stitch) from one needle to another without knitting it

    • (tr) to operate (the clutch of a motor vehicle) so that it partially disengages

    • (intr) (of the clutch of a motor vehicle) to fail to engage, esp as a result of wear

  16. let slip

    • to allow to escape

    • to say unintentionally

  17. slip one over on slang to hoodwink or trick

  1. the act or an instance of slipping

  2. a mistake or oversight: a slip of the pen

  1. a moral lapse or failing

  2. a woman's sleeveless undergarment, worn as a lining for and to give support to a dress

  3. US and Canadian a narrow space between two piers in which vessels may dock

  4. a kind of dog lead that allows for the quick release of the dog

  5. a small block of hard steel of known thickness used for measurement, usually forming one of a set

  6. the ratio between output speed and input speed of a transmission device when subtracted from unity, esp of a drive belt or clutch that is not transmitting full power

  7. cricket

    • the position of the fielder who stands a little way behind and to the offside of the wicketkeeper

    • the fielder himself

  8. the relative movement of rocks along a fault plane

  9. a landslide, esp one blocking a road or railway line

  10. metallurgy crystallog the deformation of a metallic crystal caused when one part glides over another part along a plane

  11. the deviation of a propeller from its helical path through a fluid, expressed as the difference between its actual forward motion and its theoretical forward motion in one revolution

  12. another name for sideslip (def. 1)

  13. give someone the slip to elude or escape from someone

Origin of slip

C13: from Middle Low German or Dutch slippen

Derived forms of slip

  • slipless, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for slip (2 of 3)


/ (slɪp) /

  1. a narrow piece; strip

  2. a small piece of paper: a receipt slip

  1. a part of a plant that, when detached from the parent, will grow into a new plant; cutting; scion

  2. a young slender person: a slip of a child

  3. dialect a young pig

  4. printing

  5. mainly US a pew or similar long narrow seat

  6. a small piece of abrasive material of tapering section used in honing

verbslips, slipping or slipped
  1. (tr) to detach (portions of stem, etc) from (a plant) for propagation

Origin of slip

C15: probably from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch slippe to cut, strip

British Dictionary definitions for slip (3 of 3)


/ (slɪp) /

  1. clay mixed with water to a creamy consistency, used for decorating or patching a ceramic piece

Origin of slip

Old English slyppe slime; related to Norwegian slipa slime on fish; see slop 1

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 slip


In addition to the idioms beginning with slip

  • slip a cog
  • slip of the lip
  • slip one's mind
  • slip out
  • slip something over on
  • slip through one's fingers
  • slip up

also see:

  • give the slip
  • let slip

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