back·​slide | \ ˈbak-ˌslīd How to pronounce backslide (audio) \
backslid\ ˈbak-​ˌslid How to pronounce backslid (audio) \; backslid or backslidden\ ˈbak-​ˌsli-​dᵊn How to pronounce backslidden (audio) \; backsliding\ ˈbak-​ˌslī-​diŋ How to pronounce backsliding (audio) \

Definition of backslide

intransitive verb

1 : to lapse morally or in the practice of religion
2 : to revert to a worse condition : retrogress

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Other Words from backslide

backslide noun
backslider \ ˈbak-​ˌslī-​dər How to pronounce backslider (audio) \ noun

Examples of backslide in a Sentence

Smokers who quit often backslide within a year.

Recent Examples on the Web

Investors face two key questions: First, are emerging markets really backsliding? James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Investor Lessons From Turkey’s Crash to Earth," 14 Aug. 2018 The story of Hungary’s backslide Hungary, a member of the European Union since 2004, had been a competitive democracy since the early 1990s. John Ahlquist, Washington Post, "Hungarians go to the polls today. But are voters enough to protect democracy?," 8 Apr. 2018 The prospect of his return to government has worried many within the Tamil community, as well as some diplomats and human-rights activists, that the country could backslide on its treatment of minority groups. Uditha Jayasinghe, WSJ, "Sri Lankan High Court Blocks Move to Dissolve Parliament," 13 Nov. 2018 Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Max Boot, Jackie Robinson, and the racism problem in the Republican Party," 12 Oct. 2018 And for the first time since 1979, the same number of countries (24 in total) are backsliding on democracy as are advancing. Anna Lührmann, Washington Post, "One-third of the world’s population lives in a declining democracy. That includes the United States.," 4 July 2018 Regional Representative for Europe Birgit Van Hout expressed concern Tuesday that backsliding on rights and rule of law is also happening in Austria, Italy, Malta, Romania and Slovakia. Fox News, "UN warns of rule of law, rights 'backsliding' in Europe," 12 June 2018 Fabius reiterated the need for a global environmental pact to prevent nations from backsliding on their environmental protection obligations. Washington Post, "Official: US pullout from climate deal ‘dangerous nonsense’," 18 May 2018 Despite briefly fighting back in the third quarter, the Warriors backslid in the fourth quarter and lost, 127-105 — their worst defeat of the playoffs. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "N.B.A. Playoffs: Houston Rockets Pull Even With Warriors in Game 2," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backslide.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of backslide

1554, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for backslide

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Time Traveler for backslide

The first known use of backslide was in 1554

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More Definitions for backslide



English Language Learners Definition of backslide

: to start doing something bad again after you have stopped it

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More from Merriam-Webster on backslide

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with backslide

Spanish Central: Translation of backslide

Nglish: Translation of backslide for Spanish Speakers

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