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 Talks broke down earlier after Trump accused Beijing of backsliding on promises Washington believed were locked in. Joe Mcdonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, "China tempers hopes about US tariff truce," 15 Oct. 2019 As for Veronica’s friends, Weevil (Francis Capra) has backslid into crime, Wallace (Percy Daggs III) is a family man, and Mac (Tina Majorino) is out of town. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Moody Return of Veronica Mars," 15 July 2019 The Clinton chapter of that relationship ended amid fears that Yeltsin’s successor, Vladimir Putin, was backsliding on democracy. Eugene Rumer, Time, "How to Reset U.S.-Russian Relations Today," 20 June 2019 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

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

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for backslide

The first known use of backslide was in 1554

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More Definitions for backslide


How to pronounce backslide (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of backslide

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

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

Comments on backslide

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