slap·​dash | \ ˈslap-ˈdash How to pronounce slapdash (audio) , -ˌdash \

Definition of slapdash

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An early recorded use of slapdash comes from 17th-century British poet and dramatist John Dryden, who used it as an adverb in his play The Kind Keeper. "Down I put the notes slap-dash," he wrote. The Oxford English Dictionary defines this sense, in part, as "with, or as with, a slap and a dash," perhaps suggesting the notion of an action (such as painting) performed with quick, imprecise movements. The adjective slapdash is familiar today describing something done in a hasty, careless, or haphazard manner.

Examples of slapdash in a Sentence

the investigation of the charges against the mayor was slapdash and not very thorough
Recent Examples on the Web In contrast, Eleanor and Lorena’s relationship feels slapdash and underwritten, with Anderson and Rabe sharing less than a nanogram of chemistry. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2022 Judd Apatow grabbed a wad of Netflix cash and threw together The Bubble, a slapdash comedy with an embarrassment of misused talent. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Mar. 2022 The image drives home the slapdash, unlikely origins of Truman’s presidency. John Dickerson, The Atlantic, 1 Mar. 2022 In reality, in-depth reporting with context and nuance takes time; slapdash stories and opinion columns barely any time at all. Brian Stelter, CNN, 16 Feb. 2022 The inconsistent, unscientific, and slapdash solutions are the Hong Kong government's latest attempts to fend off its most bruising clash with COVID yet. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 3 Mar. 2022 Unfortunately, everything else has a slapdash hint of amateurism. David Sims, The Atlantic, 8 Feb. 2022 On one hand, the disastrous, slapdash virtual learning programs enacted in March 2020 have widened equity gaps that persist to this day, particularly for children of families with unstable access to housing, broadband internet, and child care. Pia Ceres, Wired, 17 Jan. 2022 Not even Dunst could elevate this slapdash slice of man-child drivel. Matthew Jacobs, Vulture, 2 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slapdash.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of slapdash

circa 1792, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of slapdash was circa 1792

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Last Updated

30 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Slapdash.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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