\ ˈglīd \
glided; gliding

Definition of glide 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to move smoothly, continuously, and effortlessly swans gliding over the lake

2 : to go or pass imperceptibly hours glided by

3a of an airplane : to descend gradually in controlled flight

b : to fly in a glider

4 : to produce a glide (as in music or speech)

transitive verb

: to cause to glide



Definition of glide (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a calm stretch of shallow water flowing smoothly

2 : the act or action of gliding

4a : a less prominent vowel sound produced by the passing of the vocal organs to or from the articulatory position of a speech sound — compare diphthong

b : semivowel

5 : a device for facilitating movement of something especially : a circular usually metal button attached to the bottom of furniture legs to provide a smooth surface

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Synonyms & Antonyms for glide

Synonyms: Verb

bowl, breeze, brush, coast, cruise, drift, flow, roll, sail, skim, slide, slip, stream, sweep, whisk

Antonyms: Verb

flounder, struggle

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Examples of glide in a Sentence


The swans glided over the surface of the lake. We watched the skiers glide down the slope. The pilot glided to a safe landing after the engine failed. The pilot glided the plane to a safe landing.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Meanwhile, supporting figures glide in and out of the action. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Gus Van Sant’s Semi-Surreal “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot”," 13 July 2018 The first stage would glide back to earth and land horizontally on a runway like an airplane. Rebecca Santana, The Christian Science Monitor, "How to make space exploration less expensive? Reuse the rockets.," 3 July 2018 The ice skater known for the bizarre Nancy Kerrigan incident in 1994 couldn't glide past fellow figure skater Rippon, even after he was dissed by one of the judges. Carole Glines, Fox News, "'DWTS' finale loser Tonya Harding says she lost 'a lot' of weight on show," 23 May 2018 Sets and props must glide easily on and off the rink. Katie V. Jones, Howard County Times, "A classic fairy tale on ice," 6 Apr. 2018 The show glides over specifics about the case, instead focusing on Sorrentino’s seemingly earnest intention to turn his life around and remain sober. Nina Metz,, "When a moment has passed: The 'Jersey Shore' revival and the art of pointlessness," 5 Apr. 2018 The great birds glide in their orbits, fan themselves, jeweled heads humming in a stream of signals. David Roderick, San Francisco Chronicle, "State Lines: California poetry: Lisa Rosenberg’s ‘The Satellite Sky’," 29 Mar. 2018 For years, the children of Boynton Beach have happily ventured down the slides, climbed the stairs and glided on swings at the Civic Center Playground, 128 E. Ocean Ave. Kari Barnett,, "Playground equipment to be repurposed at Boynton Beach park," 10 July 2018 The thriller moves swiftly as the desperation and violence escalate, gliding by on clear, competent prose that never gets in the way. Steph Cha, USA TODAY, "Smart women get caught up in deadly intrigue in page-turning 'The Banker's Wife'," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Russia's Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle is expected to enter service in 2020. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Air Force Is Pushing for a Hypersonic Strike Weapon," 11 June 2018 Now all that was left was a dubious glide ratio and the promise of an open field. Caroline Paul, Outside Online, "Caroline Paul on Her First Emergency Landing," 11 July 2018 With chests in a puffed up in a Superman display of confidence, a handful of greater sage-grouse glide across the lek, periodically punching the sky with a high-pitched hiccup. Story Hinckley, The Christian Science Monitor, "Group effort rules the roost in Wyoming, then Washington intervenes," 10 July 2018 So far, Virgin Galactic has done two powered flights of the VSS Unity, as well as numerous glide flights, to ensure the vehicle is ready to carry people. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Virgin Galactic plans to launch customers to space from a future Italian spaceport," 6 July 2018 Dozens of little faces swiveled around to watch the 6-foot-tall drag queen clad in teal and black lace glide through the space. NBC News, "Drag Queen Story Hour brings pride and glamor to libraries across U.S.," 19 June 2018 At the African Savannah exhibit, Fort Worth Zoo visitors can feed giraffes, watch hippos glide through a pool, play peek-a-boo with meerkats and talk to a variety of other animals, bird and fish. Bud Kennedy, star-telegram, "Tortas, huaraches and green sauce at a little cafe in Grapevine | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 16 May 2018 Becca’s praiseworthy creamy texture makes the product glide on seamlessly. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Becca Created a Highlighter for Meghan Markle," 14 May 2018 Venus's glide across this otherworldly zone can give rise to clandestine relationships. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What May's Leo Horoscope Means for You," 26 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'glide.' 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 glide


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for glide


Middle English, from Old English glīdan; akin to Old High German glītan to glide

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Learn More about glide

Statistics for glide

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for glide

The first known use of glide was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for glide



English Language Learners Definition of glide

: to move in a smooth way

of an airplane : to fly without engine power


\ ˈglīd \
glided; gliding

Kids Definition of glide

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move with a smooth continuous motion



Kids Definition of glide (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or action of moving with a smooth continuous motion

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