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See more synonyms for slither on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to slide down or along a surface, especially unsteadily, from side to side, or with some friction or noise: The box slithered down the chute.
  2. to go or walk with a sliding motion: The snake slithered across the path.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to slither or slide.
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  1. a slithering movement; slide.
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Origin of slither

1150–1200; Middle English slitheren, variant of sliddren, Old English slid(e)rian, frequentative of slīdan to slide; see -er6
Related formsslith·er·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for slithery

glossy, greasy, icy, lubricious, oily, oleaginous, shiny, sleek, slippery, soapy, sleeky

Examples from the Web for slithery

Historical Examples of slithery

  • Up we went another twenty yards, then another; but always to find that slithery rock-face mocking our efforts to outflank it.

    Unexplored Spain

    Abel Chapman

  • Then came the sound of a hearty greeting in a masculine voice, followed by a slithery sound of wet clothing.

  • So we hastened to the stable yard and inspected the kennels, where the two mothers lay with their slithery tail-wagging broods.

    The Mountebank

    William J. Locke

British Dictionary definitions for slithery


adjective -ier or -iest
  1. moving with a slithering motion
  2. suggestive of a slithering creature
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  1. to move or slide or cause to move or slide unsteadily, as on a slippery surface
  2. (intr) to travel with a sliding motion
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  1. a slithering motion
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Word Origin for slither

Old English slidrian, from slīdan to slide
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 slithery



early 15c., variant of Middle English slidder "to slip, slide," from Old English slidrian "to slip, slide on a loose slope," a frequentative form of slidan "to slide" (see slide (v.)). For spelling change, cf. gather. Meaning "to walk in a sliding manner" is attested from 1848. In reference to reptile motion, attested from 1839. Related: Slithered; slithering.

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"slithering movement," 1861, from slither (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper