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 Her ability to close out on the block allows Ionescu and the rest of the backcourt to slither in for defensive rebounds. Erica L. Ayala, Forbes, 20 May 2021 Snake Eyes Want to slither back into society with a flash? Katharine K. Zarrella, WSJ, 15 May 2021 Yet others slither along and continue to thrive on their flawed business models. William Nordhaus, Time, 20 Apr. 2021 Snakes slither, sidewind and have even been known to launch themselves from one tree to another. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, 11 Jan. 2021 Thus began the planning of the 150-foot-wide Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge that would span six lanes of traffic and allow both people and beasts to slither, stroll or sprint across. Bruce Selcraig,, 2 Jan. 2021 Of course, legless lizards didn’t just kick off their legs and slither away one day. Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2020 The beasts had long tails to slither underwater, jaws packed with razor-sharp teeth and flipper-like limbs to propel themselves through the water. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Nov. 2020 The thought that parasites might not slither and burrow for perpetuity is painful for parasitologists. Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for slither

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for slither

Last Updated

30 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slither.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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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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