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

Her task at Metro will be creating planning and maintenance programs to ensure that the transit agency doesn’t backslide on its efforts to maintain the system. Washington Post, "Metro has a new team running its rail operations. There’s something unusual about them.," 10 June 2019 The path forward hasn’t been smooth—particularly in the past few years, policies and attitudes regarding LGBTQ people have seemed to backslide. Maddie Burakoff, Smithsonian, "Fifty Years After Stonewall, A Look at the Struggles and Celebrations of LGBTQ Americans," 19 June 2019 From now until then, Jackson’s mechanical improvements cannot backslide. Jonas Shaffer,, "Ravens QB Lamar Jackson saved his best for last at minicamp. Now comes an important break.," 13 June 2019 Add veterans Kihei Clark and Mamadi Diakite, and the Cavs won’t backslide into irrelevance as the defending champs. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "The Hotline’s revised top-25 basketball rankings for 2020 (after NBA Draft and transfer fallout)," 10 June 2019 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

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

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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