slip·​stream | \ ˈslip-ˌstrēm How to pronounce slipstream (audio) \

Definition of slipstream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a stream of fluid (such as air or water) driven aft by a propeller
2 : an area of reduced air pressure and forward suction immediately behind a rapidly moving vehicle


slipstreamed; slipstreaming; slipstreams

Definition of slipstream (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to drive in the slipstream of a vehicle

Examples of slipstream in a Sentence

Noun The motorcycle was riding the truck's slipstream.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For decades, the world-history movement has quietly advanced in the slipstream of higher-profile changes in curriculum. Stanley Kurtz, National Review, 16 Dec. 2021 The Darkside record was an opportunity to attempt to shut off his brain and lose himself in the slipstream. Washington Post, 23 July 2021 Andino is a bona fide surfing star, in the slipstream of Florence, who is about 18 months older. New York Times, 20 July 2021 The team of bigger, broader pacesetters rides single file to create a slipstream for Cavendish, taking turns on the front and setting a furious pace. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 16 July 2021 Some 4% of global trade passes through the Central American slipstream and drought has increased the risk of massive container ships running aground, à la the Ever Given in the Suez Canal last March. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 30 June 2021 The first big spill was caused by a fan who brandished a cardboard sign and leaned into the path of veteran rider Tony Martin, who fell off his bike and took many others down in his slipstream., 26 June 2021 This quickly proved that the best efforts of the car's heater and audio system were quickly overwhelmed by the buffeting slipstream at any speed beyond 40 mph. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 25 May 2021 And, that, whatever the condition of my mind and heart, this great action rescues me from that modern slipstream of the self-consciousness, even my own mediocre, suburban dad life. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 2 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In Smith’s hands, stories slipstream in the wake of other stories; dreams are tucked up under the armpits of serious shifts in time and space. Dwight Garner, New York Times, 17 Aug. 2020 As a direct result of slipstreaming the front-door truck, the first savings would be in diesel fuel, because there would be little wind resistance for the second or potentially third trucks in this connected mini-convoy. Ed Wallace, star-telegram, 27 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slipstream.' 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 slipstream


1913, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1957, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for slipstream

Time Traveler

The first known use of slipstream was in 1913

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Dictionary Entries Near slipstream

slip stopper



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Statistics for slipstream

Last Updated

10 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Slipstream.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for slipstream



English Language Learners Definition of slipstream

: an area of low air pressure that is immediately behind a vehicle that is moving very fast and that other vehicles can ride in to go faster with less effort


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