Definition of slink in English:

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Pronunciation: /sliNGk/

verb (pastand past participle slunk /sləNGk/)

[no object]
1Move smoothly and quietly with gliding steps, in a stealthy or sensuous manner: the fox came slinking through the woods
More example sentences
  • Nicola nodded and slunk quietly over to the sleeping bags, trying not to attract the attention of whatever Landon had heard.
  • I pretended not to hear her, and she slunk down the steps a minute later.
  • She hid behind a rock and quietly slunk around the pond, seeking refuge behind rocks and boulders.
1.1Come or go unobtrusively or furtively: all his so-called friends have slunk off
More example sentences
  • I like to think it was a part of me that hovered there, lost and afraid, alien and lonely, slinking after my retreating steps.
  • The previous scientist took a step backward, then slunk out of the door, ashamed.
  • She had hoped he might slink quietly away to count his losses.


[in singular]
A slinking movement or walk: she moved with a sensuous slink
More example sentences
  • In each scene she has just the right look, the right slink in her walk and deceitful glint in her eye.
  • Her top 10 single is a grown-up version of an old tune, with heartfelt strums replacing the slink of old.
  • All colours and creeds are here, drawn by the slow slink of the sun.


Old English slincan 'crawl, creep'; compare with Middle Dutch and Middle Low German slinken 'subside, sink'.

  • snake from Old English:

    Snakes take their name from the fact that they have no legs and crawl along the ground. The ancestor of snake is an ancient Germanic word that meant ‘to crawl or creep’. Serpent (Middle English) has a similar origin—it comes from Latin serpere, which also meant ‘to crawl or creep’. Yet another word with this original sense was Old English slink. You can describe a treacherous person as a snake in the grass, with the idea of a lurking danger. Snakes are associated with treachery not only in Genesis but in the 6th century bc fables of the Greek storyteller Aesop. In one of his stories a man finds a snake frozen with cold and puts it close to his chest to warm it up. As soon as the snake revives it bites him ( see also viper). Before the 17th century the equivalent phrase had featured toads, which were at one time thought to be poisonous—a treacherous person was called a pad in the straw (pad is an old dialect word for a toad). The current expression may have originated from a Latin poem by the Roman poet Virgil. The children's game Snakes and Ladders, called in the USA Chutes and Ladders, was first played at the end of the 19th century. It may be based on an ancient Indian game called Moksha Patamu, which was used to teach children about the Hindu religion—the good squares allowed a player to go to a higher level of life, whereas the evil ‘snakes’ sent them back through reincarnation to lower tiers of life.

Words that rhyme with slink

bethink, blink, brink, cinque, clink, dink, drink, fink, Frink, gink, ink, interlink, jink, kink, link, mink, pink, plink, prink, rink, shrink, sink, skink, stink, sync, think, wink, zinc

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: slink

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