Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

slip - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb     slip pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleslipping
past tenseslipped
past participleslipped
  1. 1
    [intransitive] if you slip, your feet slide accidentally and you lose your balance or fall over

    Margaret slipped and broke her arm.

    slip on:

    Be careful you don’t slip on the wet floor.

    1. a.
      [intransitive] if something that is moving around slips, it fails to stay firmly on a surface

      The truck’s wheels were slipping and spinning in the mud.

    2. b.
      [intransitive] if something that you are holding or wearing slips, it falls from your hands, or it falls from position

      The knife slipped and cut my finger.

      slip out of:

      The ball slipped out of my hands as I tried to catch it.

      slip off:

      Tighten the straps so they won’t slip off your shoulders.

    3. c.
      [transitive] to become free, or to no longer be held by something
  2. 2
    [intransitive] to go somewhere, especially quickly and quietly without people noticing you or stopping you
    slip into/out of/through etc.:

    Several people managed to slip past the guards and into the concert.

    slip into/out of/through etc.:

    Sarah slipped into the room and carefully shut the door.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to slide something into a place or position
    slip something into/around/under etc. something:

    I’ll slip the letter under your door.

    slip something into/around/under etc. something:

    John slipped his arm around his wife’s waist.

    1. a.
      to put something somewhere, or to give something to someone quickly and quietly, so that other people do not see what you are doing

      Michael slipped the bar of candy into his pocket.

      slip someone something:

      If you slip him some cash he’ll get you good seats.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] to become gradually less strong or good, or to move into a worse condition

    Support for the death penalty has been slipping.

    Standards have been slipping over the years.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play