slith·​er | \ ˈsli-t͟hər How to pronounce slither (audio) \
slithered; slithering; slithers

Definition of slither

intransitive verb

1 : to slide on or as if on a loose gravelly surface
2 : to slip or slide like a snake

transitive verb

: to cause to slide

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Examples of slither in a Sentence

The snake slithered through the garden. To get under the porch, I lay on my stomach and slithered like a snake. She slithered quietly into the room. He slithered his hand around her waist.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Two New Jersey herpetologists exploring an area known for its timber rattlesnakes stumbled across a rare find: a newborn two-headed rattlesnake slithering across the ground. NBC News, "Two-headed baby rattlesnake found in New Jersey Pine Barrens," 6 Sep. 2019 But download the corresponding smartphone app, point the camera at the wall, and see plastic six-pack rings float near the manatee or watch the looming Burmese python give way to a video of the invasive species slithering in swampland. Erin Berger, Outside Online, "This Beautiful Art Makes Climate Change Feel Visceral," 24 July 2019 Baltimore sports fans have had abandonment issues since the Colts slithered out of town on that dark and stormy night in 1984. Peter Schmuck,, "Mike Mussina’s departure from Orioles still rankles some, but decision might have paved his way to Cooperstown," 18 July 2019 Beneath the shrine was a painting of two large snakes slithering toward an altar that held offerings of eggs and a pine cone. Chiara Goia, Smithsonian, "The New Treasures of Pompeii," 21 Aug. 2019 Walker, who owns a 40-acre hay farm in Sulphur Springs, dealt with snakes slithering through his fields and a multitude of mice nibbling on the cables of his farming equipment. Maria Elena Vizcaino, Dallas News, "Mesquite's barn cat program is an 'unemployment agency' for feral cats," 1 Aug. 2019 The Nashville native opened her eyes to find a skinny green garden snake slithering up next to her in the hotel bed. Hanna Flanagan,, "Woman Finds Garden Snake Under the Covers of Her Hampton Inn Hotel Bed," 29 July 2019 Deep in the Badlands of North Dakota, where snakes and scorpions slither and crawl, was Harrison Duran on a recent June day, digging his hands in the dirt, scraping his tools against bones — ancient, rare bones. Eduardo Medina,, "UC Merced student finds 65 million-year-old Triceratops skull," 26 July 2019 There were slinkier looks for evening, including a sequined snake slithering suggestively over the shoulder. Washington Post, "Sunnei to Palm Angels, streetwear in fashion focus in Milan," 16 June 2019

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for slither

Middle English slideren, from Old English slidrian, frequentative of slīdan to slide

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Statistics for slither

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for slither

The first known use of slither was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for slither



English Language Learners Definition of slither

: to move by sliding your entire body back and forth
: to move smoothly, quietly, or secretly like a snake


slith·​er | \ ˈsli-t͟hər How to pronounce slither (audio) \
slithered; slithering

Kids Definition of slither

: glide entry 1 The snake slithers along.

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More from Merriam-Webster on slither

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slither

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slither

Spanish Central: Translation of slither

Nglish: Translation of slither for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slither for Arabic Speakers

Comments on slither

What made you want to look up slither? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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