1. a structure that children play on by climbing up steps and sliding down a slope on the other side
2. a sliding movement
3. a situation in which an amount becomes less
4. a small piece of film in a frame, that you shine light through in order to show the image on a screen
Origin and usage
The origin of the word slide comes from the Old English verb ‘slīdan’, which relates to a sledge. The word can be used in all manner of situations, and slide can refer to many different kinds of objects. However, almost all of them refer to items that perform the same type of motion.
The word slide can be used to refer to different things in a huge range of circumstances. In almost every case, however, slide refers to the smooth, downward motion of an object.
The most obvious example of a slide is an apparatus that children play on. The smooth surface of the playground object allows children to glide quickly down from a height, creating the sense of motion that defines the object. Slides like these are also used in waterparks and swimming pools.
In the metaphorical sense of sliding down or backwards, the action of a person, object or event is associated with a slide motion. For example, someone might feel that a situation is sliding out of control if it becomes more and more chaotic or difficult to manage.
“Sliding headfirst is the safest way to get to the next base, I think, and the fastest. You don’t lose your momentum, and there’s one more important reason I slide headfirst, it gets my picture in the paper.”
“You don’t know a ladder has splinters until you slide down it.”
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.
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