Definition of skid in English:

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Pronunciation: /skɪd/

verb (skids, skidding, skidded)

1 [no object] (Of a vehicle) slide, typically sideways or obliquely, on slippery ground or as a result of stopping or turning too quickly: her car skidded and hit the grass verge the taxi cab skidded to a halt
More example sentences
  • His bike skidded sideways and hit the road divider.
  • It is understood that the vehicle skidded after avoiding a car involved in another accident, mounted the verge and became impaled on a pole projecting from a crash barrier.
  • The bike was skidding sideways, and it slammed into the branch.
1.1Slip; slide: Barbara’s foot skidded and she fell to the floor
More example sentences
  • Her bare feet skidded and slid over the dirt, sandals long since broken in the fight.
  • I skidded, slipped, cursed, crashed, and generally regressed one full level in ability.
  • Begin your powder turn and then instead of hitting your edges hard to carve a turn, stand up on two feet and let your skis slide or skid diagonally across the fall line.
1.2 [with object] Cause to skid: he skidded his car
More example sentences
  • Just two days after buying his car he skidded it on black ice on a major road and wrote it off.
  • Upon reaching the door Zeo skidded the car to a stop.
  • He skidded the car to a stop at her last words, and she flung herself out of the car and started making her way towards the brush.
1.3 [with object] North American Move a heavy object on skids: they skidded the logs down the hill to the waterfront
More example sentences
  • When skidding logs back to roadside, Heisler is looking behind him about 90% of the time.
  • We would skid the logs to roadside with horses, and then they were hauled to the lake where they were boomed, and a tugboat would take them to the mill.
  • The horses also pull the farm's ‘truck,’ an antique box wagon, and skid logs for firewood out of the woods.
2 [with object] Fasten a skid to (a wheel) as a brake.


1An act of skidding or sliding: the Volvo went into a skid
More example sentences
  • The noise startled him, and he slid into a side skid.
  • An undignified skid and a few slides later found him at the entrance to the parlor, where the voices had retreated to.
  • Steer control induces a resistance in the steering, encouraging the driver to steer away from the resistance and so, out of the skid or slide.
2A runner attached to the underside of an aircraft for use when landing on snow or grass.
Example sentences
  • A metre below the skids of the aircraft was the ledge onto which we were to leap, and below that was a sheer 100-metre drop into what from the air looked like an otherwise inaccessible canyon.
  • I gently fed power to the hover coils and, as the SAP eased off the ground, retracted the landing skids.
  • They reached the surface and extended their landing skids.
2.1North American Each of a set of wooden rollers used for moving a log or other heavy object.
Example sentences
  • Unmarked crates, heavy machinery, and piles upon piles of empty skids filled the most of it.
  • He constructed very long, rough wooden skids which he assembled into semi-geometric structures.
  • The lumber coming off the saw is bundled and tagged and stacked on a skid.
3A braking device consisting of a wooden or metal shoe preventing a wheel from revolving.
4A beam or plank of wood used to support a ship under construction or repair.
Example sentences
  • Contrast that with a gas turbine, which is shipped on a skid and essentially needs only to be hooked up.
  • It had a shorter hinged shoulder support plate and a skid type bipod.



hit the skids

informal Begin a rapid decline or deterioration: Michael’s career hit the skids
More example sentences
  • His career was hitting the skids when he was commissioned to write a film of Edward Lear's life.
  • Forgive me, readers; I don't know what sort of sound an acting career makes when it hits the skids.
  • Private Eye has had a really interesting correspondence - telling a tale of an album released over a decade ago; it's a concept album about a rockstar whose career - forged in writing rock operas - hits the skids.

on the skids

informal (Of a person or their career) in a bad state; failing: I was on the skids but now I’m doing all right
More example sentences
  • By 1924, though, his career was long since on the skids, confined mostly to supervision of films.
  • If there is enough opposition, and if that opposition is sufficiently vociferous, then he is going to fear that his career is on the skids.
  • As Beck suggests, getting a chance is usually the most difficult hurdle on the path toward coming back for a player whose career has been on the skids.

put the skids under

informal Hasten the decline or failure of: the decision put the skids under share prices in London
More example sentences
  • Failure to reinvest or recapitalise ultimately put the skids under the whole thing.
  • Alan Curbishley today called on his players to stand up and be counted after last week's humiliating defeat against Leeds United has put the skids under their European aspirations.
  • The win was all the more laudable considering Kiltaine had been hitherto unbeaten but the Sarsfields put the skids under them with a gutsy super display.



Example sentences
  • In wet conditions on a skiddy surface, Edith then drilled in a corner and caught the keeper off guard.
  • Annoyed, I went off and practised a bit, working on getting my braking a bit more progressive and a bit less skiddy on the emergency variant.
  • With rain tumbling down and the pitch skiddy, with the ball bouncing from hand to hand and the forwards dominating, the stadium sat agog.


Late 17th century (as a noun in the sense 'supporting beam'): perhaps related to Old Norse skíth (see ski).

  • This was first used in the sense ‘supporting beam’; it may be related to Old Norse skíth ‘billet, snowshoe’ (which also gave English ski in the mid 18th century via Norwegian). The verb was first used meaning ‘fasten a skid to (a wheel) to slow its motion’, later coming to mean ‘slip’. To hit the skids, ‘to begin a rapid decline or deterioration’, and the similar to put the skids under someone or something both originated in the USA. This skid is a North American term for a wooden roller that is used as part of a set to move logs or other heavy objects. Once a log is on the skids it can be slid forward very easily, gathering momentum until it reaches the end of the rollers and comes to an abrupt halt. Skid row, meaning ‘a run-down part of town frequented by tramps and alcoholics’, is also connected with logging. It originated as skid road in the late 19th century, and at first simply described a part of town frequented by loggers.

Words that rhyme with skid

amid, backslid, bid, did, forbid, grid, hid, id, kid, Kidd, lid, Madrid, mid, outbid, outdid, quid, rid, slid, squid, underbid, yid

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: skid

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