slip·​stream | \ˈslip-ˌstrēm \

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


The motorcycle was riding the truck's slipstream.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The 28-year-old shimmied past one player, dropped her shoulder to move past the next, and accelerated away, leaving three Australian defenders in her slipstream. Chris Scott, CNN, "Commonwealth Games 2018: NZ win first women's rugby sevens gold," 15 Apr. 2018 Then the sound of slipstream suddenly becomes louder. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447," 6 Dec. 2011 Whenever Vettel has driven an F1 car, history seems to have followed in his slipstream. Matias Grez And Amanda Davies, CNN, "Sebastian Vettel: 'My desire and hunger to win again is greater than ever'," 31 Aug. 2017 Lalonde Gordon stayed in the slipstream of Fred Kerley for most of the last lap but then pushed past the American to win in 2 minutes, 58.12 seconds. Ken Goe,, "Oregon mid-distance star Raevyn Rogers announces she will leave school early, sign with Nike," 25 Aug. 2017 BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Overtaking looks far away but Formula E is gradually entering the slipstream of its older and faster rival Formula 1 after getting a major boost from Mercedes and Porsche. Jerome Pugmire, The Seattle Times, "Formula E sees brighter future as Mercedes, Porsche sign up," 28 July 2017 From dropping back and offering their leader a slipstream to catching and reeling in breakaway riders, none of their physical exertions are for personal gain. Matias Grez, CNN, "Tour de France: 'Domestiques' prove there is no I in team," 19 July 2017 Only Spurs hung on, gasping for air, in the slipstream. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Chelsea, by Besting the Rank and File, Wins the Premier League Title," 12 May 2017 The runners will also employ careful drafting behind pacers, who run ahead for short periods of time to create a smooth slipstream for the competitors. National Geographic, "Runners Aim to Shatter 'Unbreakable' Two-Hour Marathon Barrier," 4 May 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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, "Wi-Fi Connected Big Rig Trucks | Fort Worth 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

The first known use of slipstream was in 1913

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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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playful or foolish behavior

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