Definition of glide in English:



  • 1no object, with adverbial of direction Move with a smooth, quiet continuous motion.

    ‘a few gondolas glided past’
    • ‘He seemed to glide effortlessly through the clear water, like a gleam of light.’
    • ‘Completely absorbed, Rolando glided across the dance floor with her in his arms.’
    • ‘The dragon slowly glided down to the ground, searching the area around me for a trap.’
    • ‘Party leaders leaders appear like the swan gliding serenely on the surface of the water.’
    • ‘The shot was filmed with the camera gliding down the empty staircase.’
    • ‘And all this as we watched the locals glide down the slopes.’
    • ‘She took that as a cue to glide down the stairs and introduce herself.’
    • ‘There's a shady lakeside spot where the swans glide and hiss.’
    • ‘When he's finished writing, he reads his scripts out loud to me so that I can time them and offer suggestions for changes, his fingers gliding effortlessly across the Braille display.’
    • ‘My reverie was soon broken by the sight of an exceptionally beautiful woman gliding noiselessly past me, on the way from the lifts to the main entrance.’
    • ‘A moment later, the door opened and the butler glided into the room.’
    • ‘But she glided effortlessly past, clearly unimpressed.’
    • ‘The boat was slowly gliding through the water when suddenly we heard a big splash behind us.’
    • ‘The audience became awfully quiet as she glided to her position.’
    • ‘I remember skating at night on empty outdoor rinks, gliding on the smooth surface in long arcs.’
    • ‘A pleasure boat glides silently over the surface of Loch Tay, as birds swoop to skim the water.’
    • ‘They all glided with ease through the area stacked with crates and found a door.’
    • ‘She glided down the corridor neither her mind nor her feet really touching the ground.’
    • ‘I watched him move across the kitchen, gliding in a perfect motion.’
    • ‘There were couples gliding across the polished floor, dancing circles around the large room.’
    slide, move smoothly, slip, sail, float, drift, flow
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    1. 1.1with object and adverbial of direction Move (something) with a smooth continuous motion.
      ‘slide your hands firmly across the shoulders then glide them down’
      • ‘As you glide your mouse over each, the page appears; click on the dot, and the page zooms in and pans crazily.’
      • ‘Just apply the cream, shave away, and notice how easy it is to glide that razor across your face.’
      • ‘She gently glided her hand along the smooth edge of the podium and let her hand be placed upon the key item in the center of the podium.’
      • ‘Greg and I paddle in silent unison, gliding the canoe, matched in motivation and intent.’
      • ‘He moved the book so that it was situated between them and began to read, gliding his index finger over the words.’
      • ‘Then, simply take long, smooth strokes and glide the razor blade along your face without applying too much pressure.’
      • ‘Jake smiled, gliding Ellen's car into the next lane.’
      • ‘Slowly, I made my way downstairs, gliding my hand along the smooth wooden banister.’
      • ‘Now his hands appeared on the sides of my face, cradling my head, gliding his fingers over my skin, then they pushed back and ran over my ears and the sound blocked everything else.’
      • ‘Your facial features are more prone to injury, so gliding the razor over those areas takes a little more skill.’
      • ‘You point out the dim light of a satellite gliding overhead on a polar orbit.’
      • ‘He raised his fingers to her face, gliding them down her pale skin, and then letting them rest underneath her chin.’
      • ‘He glides the details of passing time over the page while fixing the reader's eyes on the daily plane engine failures, empty suitcase encounters and shirt-drenching negotiations.’
      • ‘She dared me to go for some red lipstick, so I smoothed some chapstick on, then glided the blood-red stuff onto my lips.’
      • ‘Those of us who weren't heavy breathing had gone one stage further and were gliding a loving hand over the smooth, rounded bonnet.’
      • ‘Ten of us broke the ice across the harbour with our feet and glided our boats out into the liquid waters beyond.’
      • ‘I stopped as well, and laughed, gliding my fingers through my hair.’
      • ‘Then he raised the glass, first gliding his nostrils over its cooling bouquet, and took his first sip.’
      slide, move smoothly, slip, sail, float, drift, flow
      View synonyms
  • 2no object Make an unpowered flight, either in a glider or in an aircraft with engine failure.

    ‘students learning to glide’
    • ‘After gliding down to a wheat field, the cylinder was found swinging under the engine, still attached by the spark plug wires.’
    • ‘You have to assume engine shut-down at any time and be able to glide to a landing.’
    • ‘I shoved the nose down, glided in and hit the water with a good whap.’
    • ‘The pilot and his crew had baled out and the aircraft had glided into the sea, coming to rest on a reef with its nose in 60m and its tail in 70m of water.’
    • ‘The aircraft then glided to a splashdown into the Pacific Ocean.’
    • ‘It lost power in all its engines, but glided long enough to exit the ash cloud and get the engines working again.’
    • ‘I remember kicking off the side of the aircraft, gliding, and then popping my flotation.’
    • ‘Then, the engines are powered back and the airplane glides over the top of the arch with just enough power (jet thrust) to overcome air friction and drag.’
    • ‘The missiles glided through the air crashing through the remaining soldiers.’
    • ‘Parachuting could have evolved into gliding and finally into active flight.’
    • ‘The plane glided for 19 minutes and blew most of its tires on landing.’
    • ‘After the successful test flight, Altair glided to a landing on the remote desert runway.’
    • ‘On a beautiful autumn morning in the nation's capital I am gliding above the city in the Air Force-piloted ADF balloon and it is magnificent.’
    • ‘The vehicle was launched from a catapult and snagged as it glided off the launch rails.’
    • ‘Though he had years of experience in gliding, the intrepid experimenter's heart was pounding.’
    • ‘Despite his own aircraft being damaged, he glided back to base with a dead engine and crash-landed near Folkstone.’
    • ‘Further, the advanced Me 163 quickly ran short of fuel, then glided back to base.’
    • ‘If you bounce, maintain the crosswind correction so you'll glide straight ahead, rather than bounce sideways into a side-load condition.’
    • ‘Everybody pushes the airplane until it glides, then they jump on and let the plane coast until it hits the ground again.’
    1. 2.1 (of a bird) fly with very little movement of the wings.
      ‘gulls are gliding birds’
      • ‘Vakho sat glued to his binoculars watching raptors glide the thermals.’
      • ‘It continued towards me, floating across the floor with the ease of a little white sea bird gliding over the surface of the waves.’
      • ‘It is believed they can sleep while in flight, gliding on air currents and staying aloft without flapping for hours or even days at a time.’
      • ‘As the birds glided through the clouds with great ease, he wondered exactly where his life was going.’
      • ‘An owl glided nearby, wings whispering upon the darkness, huge eyes searching for slight movements in the sea of darkness.’
      • ‘During tracking sessions, notes were made on whether the falcons were gliding in circles or in a straight flight path.’
      • ‘You may see stiff-winged fulmars gliding effortlessly, or hear them cackling as they sit precariously on ledges incubating single eggs.’
      • ‘I saw about eight soaring hawks, four gliding herons, and roughly 2,000 dazzling picture-postcard views.’
      • ‘Floating high above the clouds, she saw birds glide gracefully around her.’
      • ‘She leaped over another fallen tree and watched as the bird glided over.’
      • ‘He watched the two birds glide away over the waves, an apprehensive glint in his eye.’
      • ‘Both circled high over the estuary, sharply-pointed wings alternately flapping and gliding as the great birds searched for ducks and waders.’
      • ‘A few birds glided in the stormy sea of a swirling wind.’
      • ‘Flapping flight is distinguished from gliding by synchronous oscillations of the forelimbs.’
      • ‘If no prey is sighted the bird glides forward or circles a few times before hovering once more over new ground.’
      • ‘Cries of the forest animals and the great birds of the night glided across the treetops.’
      • ‘Then they landed on the water and glided forward before taking flight again.’
      • ‘In flight the wings have a ragged, moth-like appearance as this bird glides to and fro at a tremendous height.’
      • ‘I looked up and saw a serpent eagle gliding smoothly in the air.’
      • ‘Shortly after dawn, a group of massive, white-shouldered birds glides over the lake in search of breakfast.’
      soar, wheel, plane
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  • 1A gliding movement.

    ‘the cuckoo makes its approach in a hawklike glide’
    ‘the Cessna started a gentle power-off glide’
    • ‘I could barely walk in them, let alone gracefully glide over smooth ice.’
    • ‘He watched the car glide along, Sanderson sitting with a smile upon his face, one he always had while driving in the morning air in his beautiful car.’
    • ‘Gingerly, she lets the sharp end of the ice glide over his jaw.’
    • ‘The three of us watched a long water snake glide in a broad oval around the pond.’
    • ‘I just glide along while others struggle with their petty problems.’
    • ‘Then everything seemed to become compact and streamlined, his pace would quicken into a glide, rather than a sprint, and he would hit the ball like a smooth rock and be gone.’
    • ‘The piece ends with a long glide of her bow in A minor.’
    • ‘The missiles were in glide move, as the military people were hoping that the aliens couldn't see them if they weren't accelerating.’
    • ‘But I figure that this will at least give me some frame of reference for the real thing, and that a leisurely glide down this course will permit me a small measure of confidence.’
    • ‘I began watching him paint, amazed by the way he made the paintbrush glide over the paper, leaving the once blank spot alive with color.’
    • ‘With waxed skis, the glide wax must be suitable for the snow conditions.’
    • ‘Let the club glide through the sand, not dig into it.’
    • ‘These glide over a weak zone in the mantle known as the asthenosphere, and the relative motion between plates causes most large-scale tectonic structures.’
    • ‘His smooth glide towards me stopped the moment he saw the look on my face.’
    • ‘I don't remember skating on it, but I remember watching people step and glide, step and glide.’
    • ‘Now we can ask two questions: How much does each specific interaction help an ion glide through a channel?’
    • ‘It's still the thing kids learn to write with and it's the writing instrument favored by artists, architects and others who like the buttery glide of soft lead.’
    • ‘I loosened my grip on the rail enough to begin a glumble down the stairs (glumble meaning a glide and a stumble all in one).’
    • ‘Gun still trained on me, I watched her glide backwards towards her bike.’
    1. 1.1 A smooth continuous step in ballroom dancing.
      • ‘When we were content that Nicole had mastered her glide and looked fabulous executing it, we were left with one final detail before it was time for her big reveal.’
      • ‘You miss people looking at you like you're insane when you're glide stepping to French class with your French book on your head so you don't bounce while you march.’
      • ‘They walk through the dancing couples; others dance, they walk, but they begin to walk in time, a lilting walk, almost a glide.’
      • ‘This style utilizes a glide step, and, rather than a perpetually upbeat approach, uses motions that ebb and flow with the mood of the music.’
    2. 1.2 A flight in a glider or unpowered aircraft.
      ‘just within range for a straight glide home’
      • ‘The wind was already blowing in a favorable direction so it took only the barest hint of his power to begin his glide.’
      • ‘Included in the presentation was video from the most recent SS1 glide flight, which took place just three days earlier.’
      • ‘Then an eleven mile glide to the next good thermal.’
  • 2Phonetics
    A sound produced as the vocal organs move towards or away from articulation of a vowel or consonant, for example /j/ in duke /djuːk/.

    • ‘The approximant r can also be regarded as a glide.’
    • ‘Other rules would account for glide insertion and consonant sharing.’
    • ‘They are common in monosyllables and incorporate a glide before a vowel at a syllable boundary.’
  • 3Cricket
    A glancing stroke which slightly deflects the ball, especially towards the leg side.

    • ‘Attempted a glide down to third man, and ended up edging it to slip’
    • ‘In that same over, he followed with a directed glide to the point boundary.’
    • ‘No shot seemed to take effort once he'd passed fifty and he brought up three figures with a glide to third man, his second half-century taking 68 balls.’
    • ‘However, there was the hint of alarm as Parsons reached his maiden league ton with a glide to short third man.’
    • ‘Entering the match with a first-class average of 28, he bettered the mark by one and started his Test tally with a glide through the cordon for a boundary.’


Old English glīdan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch glijden and German gleiten.