\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

At night, the only lights visible are those of cars winding along mountain roads on the distant island of Sifnos, or a passing ferry gliding to and from the nearby port. Zander Abranowicz, ELLE Decor, "A Modern Take on Greek Island Living in Serifos," 2 July 2018 Josh Reddick blooped it to center field, allowing pinch runner Jake Marisnick to effortlessly glide from first to third on the Astros' sixth hit of the game. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Carlos Correa's walkoff single in 12th inning lifts Astros over Royals," 23 June 2018 Gee, thanks, the golfer says, and glides to the first tee. Tom Krasovic,, "Philip Rivers, once again, could yield Draft Night dividend for Chargers," 24 Apr. 2018 Before the Tour de France concludes, the professional cyclists will have circled l'Hexagone over the course of 22 days, enduring high mountain passes, bumpy cobblestones, crashes, and dramatic sprints, before gliding down the Champs-Élysées. Mary Winston Nicklin, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Small Island Where the Tour de France Begins Is Actually a Vacationer's Paradise," 3 July 2018 Getting added to a prominent benchmark is akin to gliding past Wall Street’s velvet ropes, a big boost for firms that otherwise hover beneath Wall Street’s radar. Asjylyn Loder, WSJ, "Why $39 Billion of Stocks Traded in One Second on Friday," 24 June 2018 The rocket accelerates the weapon to speeds where the scramjet can take over, and to such a high altitude that the weapon glides back down to the target at hypersonic speeds. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Air Force Is Pushing for a Hypersonic Strike Weapon," 11 June 2018 Some respond to uncertainty with drink or cigarettes, hang-gliding or hot yoga. Eric Boodman, STAT, "A career in biotech brought success. Then the birds came calling," 24 May 2018 There’s something sinister about its gliding surveillance, some sentient agent of the modern world intruding on this timeless occasion. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem Kick Off Cannes with Gloomy Melodrama," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In glide bombing, the angle of descent is more gradual than in dive bombing and the ascent much sharper. Popular Mechanics, "How the D-Day Invasion Was Planned," 6 June 2017 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

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

26 Oct 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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Comments on glide

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


playful or foolish behavior

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