\ 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

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of glide in a Sentence

Verb 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 That might raise eyebrows among the legions who come to kick and glide along the undulating double-track trails, or to the first-timers taking lessons in front of the lodge. Washington Post, "Skiing West Virginia’s ‘Canadian Valley’ amid record snowfall," 18 Feb. 2021 The winner of the Republican primary should glide to victory in the general election. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Sarah Huckabee Sanders closer to clearing GOP primary field in Arkansas governor bid," 8 Feb. 2021 Jefferson plays with a deceptive smoothness, his speed obscured by his ability to glide into and out of breaks. Star Tribune, "Rookies aren't supposed to do what Vikings' Justin Jefferson is doing," 5 Dec. 2020 Cross-country ski trails provide lanes skiers need to glide freely. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Top 5 snow treks in the Sierra near Tahoe and Yosemite," 4 Feb. 2021 The remoras glide along their host’s body, clustering near a whale’s blowhole and dorsal fin where there is minimal drag—all the while nibbling on dead skin and parasites. Rachael Lallensack, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ten Scientific Discoveries From 2020 that May Lead to New Inventions," 28 Dec. 2020 For an extra boost, wrap gauze around ice cubes infused with anti-inflammatory green or chamomile tea, then glide them over the skin. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "How to Heal Dry Skin in Winter, According to a Celebrity Facialist," 22 Dec. 2020 That isn’t to say the government will therefore glide through litigation; antitrust law remains stacked in favor of big business, and the federal judiciary is full of judges who were indoctrinated into a narrow consumer welfare model. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "The Smoking Gun in the Facebook Antitrust Case," 9 Dec. 2020 Reporters once again glide past the horrifying specifics of murders when presenting the case of anti-death penalty advocates. David Harsanyi, National Review, "Wanted: An Honest Debate about the Death Penalty," 14 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But after weeks of debate, President Joe Biden's massive $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill is set to glide through Congress. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "How bitcoin is like a teenager," 21 Feb. 2021 Each stick has a slippery glide that allows for maximum control. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, "Halsey's About-Face Shadowsticks Put the Fun Back Into Makeup," 19 Feb. 2021 The plane in this activity, which is reminiscent of Phillip Swift's design entered in Scientific American's International Paper Airplane Competition in 1967, gets the lift needed to glide from two rings, instead of wings. Exploratorium, Scientific American, "Loop-the-Loop with a Flying Hoopster," 20 Nov. 2014 After a few fast, mostly flat kilometers, athletes push and glide 1,300 vertical feet to the finish line midway up Alpe Cermis, an alpine ski hill. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "Jessie Diggins Wins the Tour de France of Skiing," 13 Jan. 2021 Grab them this facial oil by Pink Moon to help the tool glide easily on their skin. Kiana Murden, CNN Underscored, "42 gifts that support BIPOC-owned brands this holiday season," 16 Dec. 2020 Before Saturday, the company already had done two glide flights by the spaceship in New Mexico. Susan Montoya Bryan And Paul Davenport,, "‘Lost connection’ hampers Virgin Galactic’s test flight," 15 Dec. 2020 The standard suspension isn't rough, but the hydraulic system serves up a serene glide. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2021 Infiniti QX80 Remains Relevant," 24 Nov. 2020 The only scenario left was a bumbling glide wherein the dinosaurs stretched out their arms like flying squirrels and jumped from tree to tree, clattering among the branches. Sabrina Imbler New York Times, Star Tribune, "These Winged Dinosaurs Hurtled Through the Trees like Haywire Hang Gliders," 8 Nov. 2020

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

Time Traveler for glide

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for glide

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Glide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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