give someone the slip, to elude a pursuer; escape: The murderer gave the police the slip.
    let slip, to reveal unintentionally: to let slip the truth.
    slip a cog. cog1(def 6).
    slip between the cracks. crack(def 53).
    slip someone's mind, to be forgotten: I was supposed to phone, but it slipped my mind.
    slip something over on, to deceive; defraud; trick.Also slip one over on.

Origin of slip

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English slippen < Middle Dutch slippen; cognate with Old High German slipfen; (noun) late Middle English slippe, derivative of or akin to the v.; compare Old High German slipf a sliding, slipping, error; akin to slipper2
Related formsslip·less, adjectiveslip·ping·ly, adverb

Synonyms for slip

1, 2. slither. See slide. 11. err, blunder. 35. error, fault. See mistake.




a small paper form on which information is noted: a withdrawal slip.
a piece suitable for propagation cut from a plant; scion or cutting.
any long, narrow piece or strip, as of wood, paper, or land.
a young person, especially one of slender form: a mere slip of a girl.
a long seat or narrow pew in a church.
Bookbinding. one of the ends of a band, extending at the sides of a book after sewing.

verb (used with object), slipped, slip·ping.

to take slips or cuttings from (a plant).
to take (a part), as a slip from a plant.

Origin of slip

1400–50; late Middle English slippe < Middle Dutch slippe flap (of a piece of clothing) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for slipped

Contemporary Examples of slipped

Historical Examples of slipped

  • Often it has been on the tip of my tongue, and then it slipped away from me.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Andrew Lanning slipped to the door and turned the key in the lock.

  • He whispered to the marshal that he would return, and slipped through the window.

  • He slipped to the door in turn with a step so noiseless that even Jud wondered.

  • He must have slipped his cousin's leash, for he was at the Nicaragua almost as soon as I was.

British Dictionary definitions for slipped



verb slips, slipping or slipped

to move or cause to move smoothly and easily
(tr) to place, insert, or convey quickly or stealthily
(tr) to put on or take off easily or quicklyto slip on a sweater
(intr) to lose balance and slide unexpectedlyhe slipped on the ice
to let loose or be let loose
to be released from (something); escape
(tr) to let go (mooring or anchor lines) over the side
(when intr, often foll by from or out of) to pass out of (the mind or memory)
(tr) to overlook, neglect, or missto slip an opportunity
(intr) to move or pass swiftly or unperceivedto slip quietly out of the room
(intr sometimes foll by up) to make a mistake
Also: sideslip to cause (an aircraft) to slide sideways or (of an aircraft) to slide sideways
(intr) to decline in health, mental ability, etc
(intr) (of an intervertebral disc) to become displaced from the normal position
(tr) to dislocate (a bone)
(of animals) to give birth to (offspring) prematurely
(tr) to pass (a stitch) from one needle to another without knitting it
  1. (tr)to operate (the clutch of a motor vehicle) so that it partially disengages
  2. (intr)(of the clutch of a motor vehicle) to fail to engage, esp as a result of wear
let slip
  1. to allow to escape
  2. to say unintentionally
slip one over on slang to hoodwink or trick


the act or an instance of slipping
a mistake or oversighta slip of the pen
a moral lapse or failing
a woman's sleeveless undergarment, worn as a lining for and to give support to a dress
US and Canadian a narrow space between two piers in which vessels may dock
a kind of dog lead that allows for the quick release of the dog
a small block of hard steel of known thickness used for measurement, usually forming one of a set
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
  1. the position of the fielder who stands a little way behind and to the offside of the wicketkeeper
  2. the fielder himself
the relative movement of rocks along a fault plane
a landslide, esp one blocking a road or railway line
metallurgy crystallog the deformation of a metallic crystal caused when one part glides over another part along a plane
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
another name for sideslip (def. 1)
give someone the slip to elude or escape from someone
See also slip up
Derived Formsslipless, adjective

Word Origin for slip

C13: from Middle Low German or Dutch slippen




a narrow piece; strip
a small piece of papera receipt slip
a part of a plant that, when detached from the parent, will grow into a new plant; cutting; scion
a young slender persona slip of a child
dialect a young pig
  1. a long galley
  2. a less common name for a galley proof
mainly US a pew or similar long narrow seat
a small piece of abrasive material of tapering section used in honing

verb slips, slipping or slipped

(tr) to detach (portions of stem, etc) from (a plant) for propagation

Word Origin for slip

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




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

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for slipped



early 14c., "to escape, to move softly and quickly," from an unrecorded Old English word or cognate Middle Low German slippen "to glide, slide," from Proto-Germanic *slipan (cf. Old High German slifan, Middle Dutch slippen, German schleifen "to glide, slide"), from PIE *sleib-, from root *(s)lei- "slimy, sticky, slippery" (see slime (n.)).

From mid-14c. with senses "lose one's footing," "slide out of place," "fall into error or fault." Sense of "pass unguarded or untaken" is from mid-15c. That of "slide, glide" is from 1520s. Transitive sense from 1510s; meaning "insert surreptitiously" is from 1680s. Related: Slipped; slipping. To slip up "make a mistake" is from 1855; to slip through the net "evade detection" is from 1902.



mid-15c., "edge of a garment;" 1550s, "narrow strip," probably from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch slippe "cut, slit," possibly related to Old English toslifan "to split, cleave." Sense of "narrow piece of paper" (e.g. pink slip) in 1680s.



in various senses from slip (v.). Meaning "act of slipping" is from 1590s. Meaning "mistake, minor fault, blunder" is from 1610s. Sense of "woman's sleeveless garment" (1761) is from notion of something easily slipped on or off (cf. sleeve). To give (someone) the slip "escape from" is from 1560s. Meaning "landing place for ships" is mid-15c.; more technical sense in ship-building is from 1769. Slip of the tongue (1725) is from earlier slip of the pen (1650s), which makes more sense as an image.



"potter's clay," mid-15c., "mud, slime," from Old English slypa, slyppe "slime, paste, pulp, soft semi-liquid mass," related to slupan "to slip" (see sleeve).



"sprig or twig for planting or grafting, small shoot," late 15c., of uncertain origin. Cf. Middle Dutch slippe, German schlippe, schlipfe "cut, slit, strip." Hence "young person of small build" (1580s, e.g. a slip of a girl); see slip (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with slipped


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.