Definition of skid in English:


Line breaks: skid
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
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    • 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.


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  • 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.
    More 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.
    More 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.
    More 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.



More 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).

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