verb (used without object)

to splash or move through water, mud, or slush.
(of a liquid) to move about actively within a container.

verb (used with object)

to stir or splash (something) around in a fluid: to slosh the mop in the pail.
to splash (liquid) clumsily or haphazardly: She sloshed tea all over her new suit. They sloshed the paint over the wall.


Origin of slosh

1805–15; perhaps blend of slop1 and slush Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sloshing

wallow, wade, flounder, splatter, spill

Examples from the Web for sloshing

Contemporary Examples of sloshing

Historical Examples of sloshing

  • Sloshing in the pool was an ancient reptile who clearly was one of the leaders.

    The Repairman

    Harry Harrison

  • There was water behind us, sloshing in the darkness as the lights went out.

    The Worlds of If

    Stanley Grauman Weinbaum

  • This kept the sloshing of the quicksilver from hurting the horses so much.

  • The boy was leaning over the water trough, sloshing his face.

    Captives of the Flame

    Samuel R. Delany

  • It'll do just as much good as sloshing your duds around in the water.

British Dictionary definitions for sloshing



watery mud, snow, etc
British slang a heavy blow
the sound of splashing liquid
a popular dance with a traditional routine of steps, kicks, and turns performed in lines


(tr; foll by around, on, in, etc) informal to throw or pour (liquid)
(when intr, often foll by about or around) informal
  1. to shake or stir (something) in a liquid
  2. (of a person) to splash (around) in water, etc
(tr) British slang to deal a heavy blow to
(usually foll by about or around) informal to shake (a container of liquid) or (of liquid within a container) to be shaken
Derived Formssloshy, adjective

Word Origin for slosh

C19: variant of slush, influenced by 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 sloshing



1814, "slush, sludge, a watery mess," probably a blend of slush and slop (n.1) in its Middle English sense of "muddy place."



"to splash about in mud or wet," 1844, from slosh (n.). Meaning "to pour carelessly" is recorded from 1875. Related: Sloshed; sloshing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper