backslide

verb
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 The temptation to backslide can be strong — and must be guarded against. Pratap Khedkar, STAT, 28 July 2022 There is no reason to believe VW will backslide on its EV strategy just because that the man most identified with the strategy has been sacked. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 25 July 2022 But experts worry health systems may backslide during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 12 July 2022 But the Cardinals look like a good bet to backslide. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, 7 May 2022 Carlson, of course, has said next to nothing about the autocratic character of Orban’s rule, which critics on both sides of the Atlantic cast as a cautionary tale of how democracies backslide. Washington Post, 4 Aug. 2021 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 See More

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.

First Known Use of backslide

1554, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near backslide

backslash

backslide

backspace

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for backslide

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Backslide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/backslide. Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on backslide

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for backslide

Nglish: Translation of backslide for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!