verb (slips, slipping, slipped)
- 1 [no object] (Of a person or animal) slide unintentionally for a short distance, typically losing one’s balance or footing: I slipped on the ice he kept slipping in the mudMore example sentences
- While trying to get my foot balanced on one of the mossy boulders that jutted out of the water, I lost my footing and slipped again.
- Eight-year-old Luke Vardy narrowly escaped with his life after he slipped and lost his footing as he climbed wrought iron fencing in the front garden of his Rotherham home.
- She desperately searched for good footing, slipping and sliding as she tried to get back up.
- 1.1 [with adverbial of direction] (Of a thing) accidentally slide or move out of position or from someone’s grasp: the envelope slipped through Luke’s fingers a wisp of hair had slipped down over her faceMore example sentences
fall, drop, slide
- She poured the water and turned to put it back in the fridge but as she opened the door the jug slipped from her grasp and shattered on the floor with a loud smash.
- We passed the trident, crossed over the hill and tumbled down a moraine the far side, our feet slipping on the loose rock.
- Her heel slipped on some mud and she lost her balance, swearing as an arm wrapped around her waist, preventing her from hitting the ground.
- 1.2Fail to grip or make proper contact with a surface: the front wheels began to slip (as adjective slipping) a badly slipping clutchMore example sentences
- Sometimes, however, the gears slip, the programming fails, and the logic circuits burn out.
- My tennis shoes slipped over the slippery surface of the rock.
- We slogged across the pasture, truck tires slipping and sliding in the mud, and wound up walking the last hundred yards or so.
- 1.3 [with adverbial of direction] Go or move quietly or quickly, without attracting notice: we slipped out by a back doorMore example sentences
- Casey took the seat at the end, slipping in quickly and quietly before anyone noticed.
- I heard people speaking in the living room, so I shut the door as quietly as I could, hoping to slip upstairs without being noticed.
- I slipped quietly back into the house and pulled the door shut after me, leaving the scene.
- 1.4Pass or change to a lower, worse, or different condition, typically in a gradual or imperceptible way: many people feel standards have slipped [with complement]: profits slipped 31 percentMore example sentences
- The gross profit margin slipped to 42.3 per cent from 43 per cent a year earlier.
- Sales were down 16.8 percent and market share slipped from 9.6 percent to 8.2 percent.
- Pre-tax profits in the first half, however, slipped back by 25 per cent due to higher interest charges.
- 1.5 (be slipping) • informal Be behaving in a way that is not up to one’s usual level of performance: you’re slipping, Joe—you need a vacationMore example sentences
- Oh, Daddy, I don't understand why my common sense is slipping.
- Whatever it is that makes you realise you're slipping, make sure you use it to trigger yourself into healthier habits.
- If your family knows that you are trying to lose weight, they can be helpful reminders or motivators when you feel like you are slipping.
- 1.6 (slip away/by) (Of time) elapse: the night was slipping awayMore example sentences
- Soon, all but the steersmen and watchmen were asleep, and the dark passage of the night slipped by, quiet, watchful, and mysterious.
- Scenery and time slipped by as we passed through centuries of village and seacoast life.
- The days seemed long, the nights so short and time slipped by so fast
- 1.7 [with object] Put (something) in a particular place or position quietly, quickly, or stealthily: she slipped the map into her pocket [with two objects]: I slipped him a ten-spot to keep quietMore example sentences
- My face flushed as I quietly and quickly slipped my hands under the kitchen table.
- But he took from his desk a pink candy heart with a gold motto, ‘You are sweet’, and slipped it under her arm.
- As Mila loads the luggage, Andy quietly slips a small envelope into her purse.
- 1.8 (slip into/out of) Put on or take off (a garment) quickly and easily.More example sentences
- We quickly slipped into the red satin bathrobes and immediately felt like royalty.
- She quickly slipped into a chainmail vest and threw a rusty old helmet over her head.
- Humiliated, Julia grabs her coat from the ground and slips into it quickly, eager not to be spotted by anybody.
- 1.9 (slip something in) Insert a remark smoothly or adroitly into a conversation.More example sentences
- Just slip an invitation in to the conversation like that.
- The way she says them aren't really like accusations, but more like… casual questions, as if she's slipping them in like it's just a part of every day conversation when we both know that this is really serious stuff.
- And then, they slipped the question in, subtly, under my defenses.
- 2 [with object] Escape or get loose from (a means of restraint): the giant balloon slipped its mooringsMore example sentences
- Suddenly my wife exclaimed ‘Sorry, I have to go, he's slipped his collar’.
- 2.1 [no object] (slip out) (Of a remark) be uttered inadvertently.More example sentences
- I clenched my teeth together to prevent any spontaneous remark from slipping out.
- The remark had slipped out before she could stop it, but she didn't bother taking it back.
- Sometimes, I guess, when I dress it up in sarcasm and with a wide grin like I'm playing about, something almost truthful slips out, but no one ever takes it at face value.
- 2.2(Of a thought or fact) fail to be remembered by (one’s mind or memory); elude (one’s notice): a beautiful woman’s address was never likely to slip his mindMore example sentences
- All other thoughts slipped her mind, and she sat down again, squeezing his hand.
- I haven't been writing too long, so details do slip my mind, whether you choose to believe it or not.
- She acted as though she were trying to recall a fact that has completely slipped her mind.
- 2.3Release (an animal, typically a hunting dog) from restraint.More example sentences
- They are in the leash, but in a moment they will be slipped.
- When game was sighted, the huntsman slipped the dogs.
- 2.4 Knitting Move (a stitch) to the other needle without knitting it.More example sentences
- To execute this decrease, slip the first stitch as if to knit, slip the second stitch as if to knit, then slide the left-hand needle into the front part of both stitches and knit them together.
- Mosaic knitting simply involves slipping the stitches in a row that should be the "other" color.
- The technique of two-color slip-stitch knitting is really quite simple: If you can knit simple stripes and slip a stitch, you have all the skills you need.
- 2.5Release (the clutch of a motor vehicle) slightly or for a moment.More example sentences
- First was too snatchy, second meant constant clutch slipping, resulting in wrist-ache after a few days, and the weather, which was unseasonably atrocious.
- For those drivers who slip the clutch frequently, yours will wear out quicker than a driver that does not slip the clutch.
- Try not to slip the clutch when shifting or driving.
- 2.6(Of an animal) produce (dead young) prematurely; abort.More example sentences
- They also must document why a mare slipped a foal to collect on insurance claims and to secure unborn foal insurance for future pregnancies.
- If a mare has "slipped" a foal in a previous pregnancy, double care should be taken, as she will be far more likely to do so again than another which has hitherto escaped the accident.
nounBack to top
- 1An act of sliding unintentionally for a short distance: a single slip could send them plummeting down the mountainsideMore example sentences
- Many falls result from trips and slips when the impaired balance of an elderly person prevents swift corrective action.
- Shaun began the event cautiously knowing that one slip on the loose surface could lose him the event.
- The point we make is this, that that can happen in the situation where the man in the position of Preston was indeed going in for a robbery, but because of some sudden movement or a fall or a slip the gun goes off.
- 1.1A fall to a lower level or standard: a continued slip in house pricesMore example sentences
- If he dared score lower in an examination or for some reason had a slip in his grades, Kevin had to face the comparison risk.
- That's why the shares look like a decent punt with reasonable protection against the downside risk of a modest slip back in the price of oil and no new exploration successes.
- A high finish is usually followed by a slip towards mediocrity.
- 1.2Relative movement of an object or surface and a solid surface in contact with it.More example sentences
- A rubber pad was also added to prevent scratching and slip when in contact with the Rendiathon.
- Four-channel ABS from Bosch combined with electronic traction control regulate wheel slip in both braking and acceleration on low grip surfaces.
- Effectively the car learns the road surface and tailors the level of slip at the rear to deal with the next patch of tarmac, depending on the bravery level with the Manettino switch on the wheel.
- 1.3A reduction in the movement of a pulley or other mechanism due to slipping of the belt, rope, etc..More example sentences
- The Haldex unit is comprised of an hydraulic pump driven by the slip between the axles, a wet clutch and a controllable throttle valve and electronics.
- 1.4A sideways movement of an aircraft in flight, typically downward toward the center of curvature of a turn.More example sentences
- If there's still runway ahead and you're low enough to reach it, slam the airplane into a slip and get it back down on the pavement.
- Also, due to the static port's position, many airspeed indicators are inaccurate during a slip.
- Gusty winds can pick you up or drop you down, so stay a little high, knowing slips or flaps can get you down more safely.
- 1.5 Geology The extent of relative horizontal displacement of corresponding points on either side of a fault plane.More example sentences
- The thrust zone displays significant brecciation although no slip planes were located.
- The collision was accompanied by left-lateral strike slip and terrane displacement.
- Shortening is manifested by the development of folds and thrust faults; the horizontal slip is accommodated by strike-slip faults.
- 2A minor or careless mistake: the judge made a slip in his summing upMore example sentences
mistake, error, blunder, gaffe; oversight, omission, lapse, inaccuracy; slip of the tongue/pen, eggcornmistake, slip, error, blunder, oversight, omission, gaffe, inaccuracy; slip of the tongue/pen, eggcorn
- Clerical errors and slips of this kind, honest mistakes, could be made by all manner of people in all manner of circumstances.
- These are relatively minor slips in a long text.
- His slip did not go unnoticed by Elizabeth.
- 3A woman’s loose-fitting, dress- or skirt-length undergarment, suspended by shoulder straps ( full slip) or by an elasticized waistband ( half slip): a silk slipMore example sentences
- She said women can't go wrong wearing a slip dress and strappy shoes to a club.
- She suggests trying one color scheme when purchasing outfits, such as a slip dress with a jacket, skirt, and pants.
- This mix of lace, silk and cotton by Pazuki at Sola is perfect for layering over a slip dress or wearing on its own.
- 4A slope built leading into water, used for launching and landing boats and ships or for building and repairing them.More example sentences
- Some 20 swimmers took to the water at the boat slip in the town while onlookers cheered.
- If the boat is in the water, make sure it is still centered in the slip.
- This is a good venue for dives close to the shore, although you will probably need to launch your boat from the slip to reach safer spots on the bay's outside edges.
- 4.1A space in which to dock a boat or ship, especially between two wharves or piers.More example sentences
- Quad and Mack were walking towards the Lucky Devil's dock slip at a brisk pace when Quad, seeing the ship's door, stopped.
- You're at the gas dock or at your slip and in the course of filling up the fuel tank, a splash or even a cup of fuel spills into the water.
- Dear Cap'n Drew: We keep our pontoon boat in a slip for three months during the summer on Lake Sunapee, NH.
- 5 (also slip leash) A leash that enables a dog to be released quickly.More example sentences
- This handy slip leash adjusts to any size dog.
- The slips are constructed of extremely durable nylon webbing and use large metal D rings at the sides of the neck to release the dog quickly.
- 6 Knitting short for slip stitch. one color at a time should be knitted in striped slip
give someone the slip
- • informal Evade or escape from someone.More example sentences
- Then he casually suggested going for lunch in a nearby pub while they waited for banking papers to come through, before giving Mr Campbell the slip as he went outside to answer his mobile phone.
- Well, my hitherto unknown skills at lock picking soon gave them the slip and I was free to start wandering around this fabulous city by myself, idly listening to conversations and shoplifting croissants.
- Officers from the central intelligence unit kept him under watch for 24 hours a day but, on the morning that he fled to the Netherlands, he gave them the slip.
let something slip
- 1Reveal something inadvertently in the course of a conversation: [with clause]: Alex had let slip he was marriedMore example sentences
- In writing of the Jewish mystic Simone Weil, she inadvertently let the truth slip out, ‘An idea which is a distortion may have a greater intellectual thrust than the truth.’
- But it would have been easy to let it slip inadvertently.
- If you tell people they can get free stuff by dialing into a top-secret Web site, they're bound to let that information slip into a conversation with friends.
- 2 • archaic Release a hound from the leash so as to begin the chase: let slip the dogs of warMore example sentences
- At this time we could not move or lift our heads for fear of being seen, but had to wait till the deer had passed the rocks amongst which we were concealed, that we might let slip the hounds at a distance of about thirty or forty yards.
- As soon as the huntsman finds a gin uprooted he will let slip his hounds and with cheery encouragement follow along the wake of the wooden clog, with a keen eye to the direction of its march.
let something slip through one's fingers (or grasp)
- Lose hold or possession of something.More example sentences
- In some games we've let ourselves down and let points slip through our fingers.
- The Clifton Parkers, who entertain Westoe tomorrow, have let several victories slip through their fingers in recent weeks because of lack of fitness.
- We let that opportunity slip through our fingers, as we entrusted narrow-minded politicians to discuss the idea.
slip of the pen (or the tongue)
- A minor mistake in writing (or speech).More example sentences
- Minor slips of the tongue merely reminded me of the live nature of the performance.
- A slip of the tongue, or some random twitch in an otherwise foolproof plan, blows his cover.
- Those minor slips of the tongue are quite embarrassing.
there's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip
- • proverb Many things can go wrong between the start of a project and its completion; nothing is certain until it has happened.More example sentences
- But there's many a slip twixt cup and lip as one goes from generalities to specifics.
- Of course many things can go wrong, there's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip, but that's not the point I'm making.
- But there's many a slip twixt cup and lip, especially in the gold mining business.
- Depart without saying goodbye; leave quietly or surreptitiously.More example sentences
- Still, even those who seemed to have turned up with the intention of staying for an hour or so and then quietly slipping away, stayed till the end and cheered the winners.
- ‘Please excuse me, sirs,’ Julian said quietly, then slipped away as discreetly as he could.
- Fadran slipped away quietly, and Cora and Arlan did not notice.
- Slowly disappear; recede or dwindle: his ability to concentrate is slipping awayMore example sentences
- Uncle Matt explains as his patience slowly slips away.
- Philadelphia looks to be realizing their chances at winning a pennant, and much less a division, are slowly slipping away, and are currently executing the now or never approach.
- ‘Our town is slowly slipping away,’ Harlan says, ticking off the businesses that have closed in recent years.
- Die peacefully (used euphemistically): he lay there and quietly slipped awayMore example sentences
- His family tended to his every need as he slipped away, peacefully, at his home early on Thursday morning after an eight-year battle with cancer.
- As the sun was shining on the morning of Thursday, April 1, 2004, Ed's life peacefully slipped away.
- But why should anyone have to resort to suicide alone rather than a controlled death administered by a doctor so that they can slip away peacefully surrounded by their relatives?
slip something over on
- • informal Take advantage of (someone) by trickery.More example sentences
- Fans and writers are reacting as if he were trying to slip something over on them.
- "There can only be one reason for presenting it that way and that is to try and slip something over on people and have it appear as though you're going to get a far better deal than you're actually going to get," she said.
- • informal Make a careless error: they often slipped up when it came to spellingMore example sentences
- As these volumes demonstrate, scholars take endless pleasure in drawing attention to the great man's shortcomings, as it is in the moments when he slips up that Holmes becomes almost human.
- She only feels ill when she slips up and eats dairy products.
- It is said in Washington that a gaffe is when someone slips up and tells the truth.
Middle English (in the sense 'move quickly and softly'): probably from Middle Low German slippen (verb); compare with slippery.
- 1A small piece of paper, typically a form for writing on or one giving printed information: his monthly salary slip complete the tear-off slip belowMore example sentences
- He pulled the small slip of paper out of his pocket and copied the information to the computer screen.
- It is hereby agreed claims can be collected on certified copy slips and/or copy policies.
- You'll get a reply slip with the Statement of Decisions letter.
- 1.1A long, narrow strip of a thin material such as wood.More example sentences
- Slice out thin slips of tape from both the top and bottom of all tapes (this provides a key for the Araldite glue) then mix the glue and place a thin layer over the tapes.
- Floor-to-ceiling expanses of glass are screened by thin slips of white curtain.
- The panels' frames, of ebonised wood with a gilt slip, are mid-nineteenth-century additions.
- 2A cutting taken from a plant for grafting or planting; a scion.More example sentences
- The idea is that gardeners will deliver extra plants, slips, seeds and seedlings to the Horticultural Training Centre at Zoo Lake.
- It's the best excuse to start your own slips from market sweet potatoes sprouted at home.
- Detach suckers and slips and pot in a well-draining soil.
a slip of a ——
- Used to denote a small, slim person: you are little more than a slip of a girlMore example sentences
- You slighted me as if I were but a mere slip of a child you could send to her room!
- It was far too much horse for a slip of a girl, and yet as she gathered up the reins and nudged the animal forward, she seemed effortlessly in control.
- A slip of a boy, he was short, and at age 12, just 63 pounds.
late Middle English: probably from Middle Dutch and Middle Low German slippe 'cut, strip'.
- A creamy mixture of clay, water, and typically a pigment, used especially for decorating earthenware.More example sentences
- It could also be decorated by painting with a slip (a creamy mixture of fine clay and water) of a different colour to the body.
- I experimented with reducing leftover dried clay scraps to the consistency of slip and strained the mixture to remove lumps.
- Explaining her actions for viewers, she applies white slip and colored underglazes for decorations.
mid 17th century: of obscure origin; compare with Norwegian slip(a) 'slime'.