backslide

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Like Allen, Love excelled as a sophomore, when he was surrounded by strong personnel, then backslid when the quality around him diminished. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "Who Is Jordan Love? A High-Risk, High-Reward Quarterback," 21 Apr. 2020 Fee reform 'might backslide' The aftermath of the 2008 recession looms large for those worried about the escalation of fines and fees. Eli Hager, USA TODAY, "Courts are closed due to coronavirus. But if you owe fines and fees, you still have to pay," 22 Apr. 2020 If students backslide, advocates warn that extra services will be needed once school is back in session. Koby Levin, Detroit Free Press, "What shuttered schools mean for students with disabilities in Michigan," 8 Apr. 2020 Some set goals for a distant future, punting here, backsliding there. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "To the 1619 Project: Use More Art, Less Fake History," 25 Jan. 2020 But Bateman and others worry about backsliding toward payments that support private profits, rather than environmental progress. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "United Kingdom to embark on ‘agricultural revolution’ in break from EU farm subsidies," 17 Jan. 2020 With progress appearing to backslide, the United States' envoy to North Korea made an end-of-year plea Monday to revive stalled negotiations over Kim Jong Un's nuclear program. Alexander Smith, NBC News, "U.S. tells North Korea over nuclear talks: 'You know how to reach us'," 16 Dec. 2019 Data compiled by the United Nations show slow progress and even backsliding in the areas of child wasting and stunting and other problems related to malnutrition. Washington Post, "UN: Nearly a half-billion in Asia-Pacific still going hungry," 11 Dec. 2019 Kyrgios playing light-out at a smaller event, only to backslide the next event (see: Acapulco + Indian Wells). Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Mailbag: What Should We Make of Another Nick Kyrgios Title?," 7 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of backslide

1554, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about backslide

Time Traveler for backslide

Time Traveler

The first known use of backslide was in 1554

See more words from the same year

Statistics for backslide

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Backslide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/backslide. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for backslide

backslide

verb
How to pronounce backslide (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of backslide

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on backslide

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for backslide

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with backslide

Spanish Central: Translation of backslide

Nglish: Translation of backslide for Spanish Speakers

Comments on backslide

What made you want to look up backslide? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!