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 Maybe their immune systems are cranking so hard to fight off the one that the others get caught in the immunological slipstream. Adam Rogers, Wired, "Covid-19 Meant a Year Without the Flu. That’s Not All Good News," 16 Mar. 2021 Steering is by means of twin rudders in the pusher prop's slipstream, aided by skirt-lifting rods in the hull. Wallace Cloud, Popular Mechanics, "The Strange U.S. Navy Hovercraft That Fought in Vietnam," 25 Feb. 2021 The political winds had shifted and Lacey got caught in the slipstream of the reform movement, said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. Brian Melley, Star Tribune, "Criminal justice reformer wins LA district attorney's race," 6 Nov. 2020 Kruger was creating viral memes — units of transmission that enter the cultural slipstream — long before the internet existed, turning the visual onslaught into weapons that expose and undo the mechanisms of that domination. Megan O’grady, New York Times, "Barbara Kruger," 19 Oct. 2020 The good doctor's g-load recommendations were surely exceeded as pyrotechnics blasted a hole in the canopy and rocket motors fired the seat and its terrified denizen out into the slipstream high above the French countryside. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "French Fighter Jet Joy Ride Goes Très, Très Wrong," 13 Apr. 2020 Trifilio got her start in music by performing acoustic-guitar covers and uploading them to YouTube, as so many of her peers did before TikTok began pulling aspiring talents into its slipstream. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, "The TikTok-Ready Sounds of Beach Bunny," 24 Feb. 2020 Johnson is credited with discovering drafting — using the slipstream of the car in front of you on the track to keep up or slingshot past. Anchorage Daily News, "Junior Johnson, “The Last American Hero,” dies at 88," 21 Dec. 2019 Johnson is credited with discovering drafting — using the slipstream of the car in front of you on the track to keep up or slingshot past. Anchorage Daily News, "Junior Johnson, “The Last American Hero,” dies at 88," 21 Dec. 2019 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, "Ali Smith’s ‘Summer’ Ends a Funny, Political, Very Up-to-Date Quartet," 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, "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

Time Traveler

The first known use of slipstream was in 1913

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Statistics for slipstream

Last Updated

23 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slipstream.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for slipstream



English Language Learners Definition of slipstream

technical : 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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