\ 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

Gone are the days of Princess Grace and Jackie O gliding down the mountain at Gstaad wearing designer sunglasses, cashmere turtlenecks underneath chunky wool cable knits, and slim, flattering waterproof trousers. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "This Designer-Backed Women’s Ski Collection Will Actually Get You Excited For Winter," 29 Aug. 2019 Unlike other space capsules that use parachutes, the Dream Chaser will land akin to an airplane, gliding down horizontally onto a runway. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Sierra Nevada picks the future Vulcan rocket to fly its mini-spaceplane to orbit," 14 Aug. 2019 Guided by HaileMariam, our simulated flight rises and is airborne for 15 minutes before gliding to a stop. Robyn Kriel, Idris Mukhtar And Caitlin Hu, CNN, "This is the flight simulator and manual used to train pilots of doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight," 21 June 2019 Different Campaign Trump intends to run a much different race than his 2016 campaign, when the reality TV star announced his insurgent candidacy by gliding down the golden escalator at Trump Tower in New York. Shannon Pettypiece, Fortune, "Trump Should Be a Shoo-in for 2020, But Low Approval Holds Him Back," 18 June 2019 Remember the days of gliding down a slip 'n slide without a care in the world? Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "The Rave Sports Turbo Water Slide Is Exactly What Your Lake House Needs This Summer," 18 June 2019 It's been just over four years since Donald Trump came gliding down a golden escalator at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Iran warns it may breach nuke deal, Trump 2020 & a tribute to dad jokes: The Morning Rundown," 17 June 2019 Also topping her list is Colorscience's brush-on powder, which glides on perfectly over makeup for afternoon touch-ups. Vogue, "How to Find the Best Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin," 8 Aug. 2019 Gervonta Davis glided over the canvas to a thudding hip-hop beat, pumping his gloved fists in rapid-fire patterns. Childs Walker,, "For boxer Gervonta Davis, Baltimore homecoming fight is a chance to ‘show them anything is possible’," 23 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The majority of mascara formulas often rely on beeswax, which helps with glide and shine. Glamour, "5 Women Try Kat Von D’s New Vegan Mascara," 19 Apr. 2019 The brand claims it’s waterproof and lasts 24 hours, and has an-easy glide formula and tip. Glamour, "Too Faced's New Better Than Sex Eyeliner Lives Up to the Name," 3 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

14 Sep 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

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).


to make a temporary encampment

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