\ ˈglīd How to pronounce glide (audio) \
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

Depp chose a stunning ice pink gown from the Fall 2019 Haute Couture collection featuring a fitted bodice with rouching, and a flowy skirt that seemed to glide across the Venetian carpet. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lily Rose Depp and Timothee Chalamet Are the New Queen and King of the Red Carpet," 3 Sep. 2019 Pegasus the Flying Horse glides into the northeastern skies after sunset. Arnold Pearlstein,, "The Stars This Week: July 21-27," 21 July 2019 Giant bugs that bob up and down, frogs that sit on oversize leaves, and fish that seem to glide in the air over plants are sure to attract attention. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Colorful, whimsical or classic, yard art can enhance your garden’s overall appeal," 3 July 2019 Getting added to the Russell indexes is akin to gliding past Wall Street’s velvet ropes. Asjylyn Loder, WSJ, "Uber and Other IPOs Set for an Index Bounce," 14 June 2019 What happens: Riders glide past scenes of Nemo getting lost. Dewayne Bevil,, "Disney World: A look at Pixar in the parks," 25 June 2018 The model took to the catwalk in her first show of the season, gliding down the runway with her mile-long legs. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Gets a Blonde Makeover at London Fashion Week," 16 Sep. 2019 Like a spinning, gliding Frisbee, my work extends me beyond the frail confines of my body. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "A chorus of music legends sport striking nicknames," 14 Sep. 2019 This event is intended for very experienced skydivers who fly high-performance and high-speed parachutes, performing quick maneuvers and gliding inches above the ground for hundreds of yards at speeds approaching 90 mph. Madeline Mitchell,, "Cincinnati native wins gold at national parachuting competition; will represent USA in Africa," 11 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Such support usually creates a glide-path to victory. The Economist, "Real criminal-justice reform is local, and not easy," 29 Aug. 2019 Around this time in 2007, Hillary Clinton appeared on the glide-path to the Democratic nomination. Phil Drake, USA TODAY, "Why are you running for president? Drumbeat grows for some 2020 Democrats to shift sights," 15 July 2019 There’ll be plenty of time for Oscar, 9, to pore over his comic books and Gabriel, 11, to read up on World War II history or just watch the lush green forests and lakes of southern Sweden glide by. Washington Post, "Climate of guilt: Flying no longer the high road for some," 20 June 2019 Apart from the incorporeal fence through which my virtual car glides, the experience is a compelling facsimile of the world. Alex Davies, WIRED, "How It Feels to Drive—and Crash—the First-Ever Mid-Engine Corvette," 18 July 2019 Virgin officials say that stretch, when service begins in 2022, will sustain a speed of 125 mph that, while not the fastest in the U.S., is experienced more as a smooth glide than a typical ride. Kevin Spear,, "Virgin Trains in Central Florida will leave highway traffic in the ‘dust’," 17 June 2019 Aside from this beguiling balloon-like feature, the frigatebird’s glide gives it away. National Geographic, "EXPLORE THE WORLD WITH NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC," 1 Mar. 2019 Their comic-relief sidekicks are along for the glide, too, as the show skates into the BMO Harris Bradley Center, 1001 N. 4th St., this weekend. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What to do in Milwaukee this weekend: Ice princesses, road trips and the world of the Maya," 8 Feb. 2018 On Game of Thrones, dragon riding consists of mostly gentle glides and loops. William Gurstelle, Popular Mechanics, "'Game of Thrones' Science: Could a Person Ride a Dragon?," 15 Apr. 2019

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

12 Oct 2019

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 How to pronounce glide (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on glide

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with glide

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for glide

Spanish Central: Translation of glide

Nglish: Translation of glide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of glide for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about glide

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