slip·​shod ˈslip-ˈshäd How to pronounce slipshod (audio)
: wearing loose shoes or slippers
: down at the heel : shabby

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The word shod is the past tense form of the verb shoe, meaning "to furnish with a shoe"; hence, we can speak of shoeing horses and horses that have been shod or shodden. When the word slipshod was first used in the late 1500s, it meant "wearing loose shoes or slippers"—such slippers were once called slip-shoes—and later it was used to describe shoes that were falling apart. By the early 1800s, slipshod was used more generally as a synonym for shabby—in 1818, Sir Walter Scott wrote about "the half-bound and slip-shod volumes of the circulating library." The association with shabbiness then shifted to an association with sloppiness, and the word was used to mean "careless" or "slovenly."

Examples of slipshod in a Sentence

He did a slipshod job. Her scholarship is slipshod at best.
Recent Examples on the Web At the same time, his work was cynical, impersonal, lazy and, at times, slipshod. Victoria Dalkey, Sacramento Bee, 31 Jan. 2024 The end of the campaign was as slipshod as its beginning. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 22 Jan. 2024 More than anything, the defense argued that the investigation as a whole had been slipshod, and that Moye had become a scapegoat for detectives who didn’t have better answers. Monica Hesse, Washington Post, 9 Aug. 2023 Their nests, those altars of parental solicitude proudly built by other birds, are often slipshod affairs. Christoph Irmscher, WSJ, 3 Feb. 2023 But it too has been accused of slipshod operations by multiple sources. Wil Sands, WIRED, 9 Feb. 2023 Ancient Apocalypse is positively quaint by comparison with the paranoid, slipshod dreck filling many cable channels. Jason Colavito, The New Republic, 5 Dec. 2022 But that’s no justification for slipshod management and rule-making that harms financial markets. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 26 Oct. 2022 His discourse on the platform—both strategic and slipshod—has for years earned him free publicity for his other wildly ambitious business ventures. Laura Forman, WSJ, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'slipshod.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


slip entry 1 + shod

First Known Use

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of slipshod was in 1580


Dictionary Entries Near slipshod

Cite this Entry

“Slipshod.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


slip·​shod ˈslip-ˈshäd How to pronounce slipshod (audio)
: very careless : slovenly

More from Merriam-Webster on slipshod

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