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

Definition of backslide

intransitive verb

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

Other Words from backslide

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

Examples of backslide in a Sentence

Smokers who quit often backslide within a year.
Recent Examples on the Web Until proven otherwise, expect the Panthers’ offense to backslide and struggle without McCaffrey as its workhorse. New York Times, 30 Sep. 2021 But when that federal oversight ended, the plaintiffs said the department began to backslide. Washington Post, 20 July 2021 Kreider worries wellness progress might backslide this summer. Washington Post, 22 June 2021 Barring a new, completely unforeseen development, experts do not anticipate California will backslide to any degree similar to the state’s previous three pandemic surges. Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2021 Pressure by the Trump administration got the Merkel government to beef up its military spending, but Berlin may backslide absent heavy-duty Biden administration urgings. Steve Forbes, Forbes, 12 Mar. 2021 There were fears that Texas could backslide, particularly as new variants of the virus emerge. New York Times, 10 Mar. 2021 Through isolating Suu Kyi, the world succeeded only in helping Myanmar backslide into military rule. Brian Wong, Time, 5 Mar. 2021 The economic recovery is stalling and starting to backslide. Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for backslide

Time Traveler

The first known use of backslide was in 1554

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Statistics for backslide

Last Updated

13 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Backslide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of backslide

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

More from Merriam-Webster on backslide

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for backslide

Nglish: Translation of backslide for Spanish Speakers


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