Main definitions of slip in English

: slip1slip2slip3



  • 1Lose one's footing and slide unintentionally for a short distance:

    ‘I slipped over on the ice’
    ‘he kept slipping in the mud’
    • ‘When I'd slip and lose my footing, he'd momentarily lose sight of me, and a worried expression would cross his face.’
    • ‘The dance was silly, unplanned, and cut short when both simultaneously slipped on patches of wet grass.’
    • ‘He tried to get his footing but slipped and fell right into the woman's lap.’
    • ‘He hovered beside her as she hobbled around the truck to the fire, afraid she would slip or lose her balance.’
    • ‘The next day, Joey walked out of his East Village apartment, slipped on some ice and broke his hip.’
    • ‘However as she was stepping up onto the tongue of the boat trailer she lost her balance and slipped down onto the hard pavement.’
    • ‘Many times I slipped over on the steep icy slopes, losing my footing and crashing down on the rubble.’
    • ‘What was shaping up to be a fantastic match, though, was cut short when Rooney slipped and fell in the third game.’
    • ‘He slipped, slid and finally fell, rolling back to the bottom of the hill in a heap.’
    • ‘Alice lost her footing on the terrain and slipped back a foot.’
    • ‘There was no light, and since the tunnel slanted sharply, it was hard to keep one's footing without slipping.’
    • ‘Every time I get up onto the Olympia stage, I fear slipping and falling during the performance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When he slipped forward he lost his footing on the rock where he was perched.’
    • ‘Ragged strips of wallpaper hung down the dark, dank corridor as I explored, being careful not to slip on loose floor tiles in one of the rooms.’
    • ‘The snow splattered all over a now very unhappy Twilight who lost her balance and slipped.’
    • ‘Brown mud sprayed up as he slid and slipped, trying to push himself back onto his feet.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The horse slipped and fell with Shmulik under him, dragging him as he slid on rocky ground.’
    slide, skid, slither, glide
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    1. 1.1[with adverbial of direction] (of an object) 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 face’
      • ‘She shuffled his records until one slipped from her grasp and splintered on the hearth-stone.’
      • ‘Back in the pub, he was racking up the beers in the cellar when a barrel slipped from his grasp and broke two bones in his foot.’
      • ‘And within seconds, he was laughing so hard that a bowl almost slipped from his grasp.’
      • ‘The man jumped like a frightened rabbit, the phone slipping slightly from his ear.’
      • ‘I choked on the liquid in my throat and the can in my hand slipped from my grip.’
      • ‘We passed the trident, crossed over the hill and tumbled down a moraine the far side, our feet slipping on the loose rock.’
      • ‘In the struggle the coffee pot slipped from his grip.’
      • ‘My book bag accidentally slipped from my shoulder and hit Devin.’
      • ‘Dara squealed when her half eaten vanilla covered doughnut slipped from her grip.’
      • ‘The gun, slick with sweat, began to slip from his hand, but he gripped it tightly.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Joel sat there with a bored look, his glasses slipping off his button nose.’
      • ‘Camilla's bright green eyes widened until her natural colour, brown, showed where her contacts slipped down.’
      • ‘Her bag slipped from her grasp, spilling its contents across the tiled floor.’
      • ‘I glanced up, my eyes landing on a figure that made my breath catch in my throat, and my hands so weak that all the menus slipped through my grasp.’
      • ‘Joe had just finished pounding another staple home when his hammer slipped from his grip.’
      • ‘One pretty woman with long, blonde hair was carrying something in her hand, but it slipped from her grasp as she stumbled along.’
      • ‘It seemed that everything was suddenly moving slowly as she felt the reins slip from her grasp, her feet from the stirrups and herself from the saddle.’
      • ‘The brunette just sighed sadly and looked out the window, a few red tinted curls slipping from her loose ponytail to fall in her eyes.’
      fall, drop, slide
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    2. 1.2 Fail to grip or make proper contact with a surface:
      ‘the front wheels began to slip’
      ‘a badly slipping clutch’
      • ‘We slogged across the pasture, truck tires slipping and sliding in the mud, and wound up walking the last hundred yards or so.’
      • ‘I've never driven in the snow before and after slipping and sliding my way back this evening I have no desire to do it again.’
      • ‘These steering adjustments are needed because a lateral force on a wheel makes it slip sideways over the ground as it rolls forward.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There had been heavy rain the night before, so even his ten-year-old Nissan Patrol four-wheel drive was slipping and sliding quite a bit.’
      • ‘When it gets severe we'd expect it to be accompanied by sporadic squealing of the type you get when a fan belt slips.’
  • 2[with adverbial of direction] Go or move quietly or quickly, without attracting notice:

    ‘we slipped out by a back door’
    • ‘Quietly, she slips back into the passageway and pulls the panel back just in time.’
    • ‘She was in the middle of closing the door when a skinny, chestnut and dark brown colored cat slipped through.’
    • ‘In the chaos, the wasp slips unnoticed through the ant nest and preys on the unguarded caterpillar.’
    • ‘She put the key in the lock and opened the door as she turned around and waved at Scott once more before slipping back into the house and closing the door behind herself.’
    • ‘Casey took the seat at the end, slipping in quickly and quietly before anyone noticed.’
    • ‘I walked along pace with the huge truck, slipping behind it, then climbing on board, hiding between two bales.’
    • ‘Maddy slowly opened the door a crack and silently slipped in without being noticed.’
    • ‘She almost didn't see Wraith slipping through the shadows, but he caught her arm and motioned for her to follow him.’
    • ‘I slipped quietly back into the house and pulled the door shut after me, leaving the scene.’
    • ‘The door opened with hardly a creak and no one noticed as he slipped outside.’
    • ‘My father's sentry had been much too drunk to notice as I slipped through the gates of the estate.’
    • ‘My eyes landed on a boy, most likely my age, who was slipping rather stealthily from a room off to the right of where our tour group stood.’
    • ‘In front of her the soldiers riding the horses slipped off to her right and Ashley spotted an enclosure that she correctly guessed to be the pen for the animals.’
    • ‘But she does admit to being a little annoyed, especially when, after the biggest race of her life, she was almost allowed to slip quietly back to the changing rooms.’
    • ‘That was when Damien saw her, slipping quietly from the washroom, eyeing the scene all the while.’
    • ‘She barely noticed when the older woman slipped quietly from the room, leaving her to her snack and her thoughts.’
    • ‘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 wasn't in the mood to visit with them so I turned away and tried to slip past without being noticed.’
    • ‘Knocking lightly on the door next to hers, she opened it slightly and slipped inside the clean room.’
    • ‘I pulled the door open quietly and slipped inside, flashing the class a smile and giving a small wave.’
    creep, steal, sneak, slide, sidle, slope, slink, pad, tiptoe, pussyfoot, edge, move quietly, move stealthily, insinuate oneself
    escape, make one's escape, get away, break free, make one's getaway, abscond, decamp
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    1. 2.1[with object and adverbial of direction] 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 tenner to keep quiet’
      • ‘He picked up the package he dropped and dusted it off, slipping it underneath an arm and offered his vacant hand to her.’
      • ‘Before I am about to say ‘No,’ he slips a thick envelope in my pocket.’
      • ‘Surprising Freyen, Tekan grabbed his arm, slipped his foot between his feet and made him trip.’
      • ‘But he took from his desk a pink candy heart with a gold motto, ‘You are sweet’, and slipped it under her arm.’
      • ‘I slipped a few shiny silver knives and forks into my jacket pockets and took the stairs down to the next floor.’
      • ‘As Mila loads the luggage, Andy quietly slips a small envelope into her purse.’
      • ‘I cried out, blinded with pain, and would have fallen to my knees if Cae hadn't quickly slipped his arms around me.’
      • ‘Sighing, Ari folded up the map and slipped it into her travel bag.’
      • ‘Very carefully, he removed his glasses, folded the arms, and slipped them into his pants pocket, where his wallet had been.’
      • ‘I pull a bag from the shelf, slipping it on my arm and pause, remembering what Jake said.’
      • ‘‘Call me later,’ she said quietly, slipping a piece of paper into Rebecca's hand.’
      • ‘He knew where the meeting area was to be, and hastily rolled up the map and slipped it back under the folds of his mantle.’
      • ‘I quickly slipped the photograph into the book and handed the book back to him.’
      • ‘Scott was a few paces behind him, and he quickly slipped his arm protectively around my waist.’
      • ‘Quickly I slipped the business card into the pocket of my jeans.’
      • ‘My face flushed as I quietly and quickly slipped my hands under the kitchen table.’
      • ‘She quietly slipped the tiny piece of gold around her finger.’
      • ‘Her hand brushed over his and he slipped a note quietly into her hand.’
      • ‘Hunter was slipping the little can back into the paper bag.’
      • ‘The man held out a bundle of money and Zaren quickly grabbed it, slipping it into a pocket inside his trench coat.’
      put, tuck, stow, insert
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    2. 2.2slip into/out of Put on or take off (a garment) quickly and easily:
      ‘Sarah slipped into a red jacket’
      • ‘When a four-year-old boy slips into Mommy's pumps, it's a Kodak moment.’
      • ‘Christopher finds his pants and quickly pulls them on before slipping into his shirt.’
      • ‘Tory shrugged into the soft green tank top and slipped quickly into her pajamas pants.’
      • ‘Humiliated, Julia grabs her coat from the ground and slips into it quickly, eager not to be spotted by anybody.’
      • ‘Quickly slipping her feet into a pair of red mules, Kelly went downstairs to investigate.’
      • ‘She quickly slipped into a chainmail vest and threw a rusty old helmet over her head.’
      • ‘We quickly slipped into the red satin bathrobes and immediately felt like royalty.’
      • ‘At work, she takes off her black and orange sneakers and slips into high heels and uniform, ready to cater to the hotel's top guests.’
      take off, remove, pull off, peel off, shrug off, discard, shed, divest oneself of, doff, fling off, fling aside, climb out of
      put on, pull on, don, clothe oneself in, dress oneself in, get into, climb into, fling on, throw on
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  • 3Pass or change to a lower, worse, or different condition, typically in a gradual or imperceptible way:

    ‘many people feel standards have slipped’
    [with complement] ‘the bank's shares slipped 1.5p to 227p’
    • ‘Track officials indicated that profits are slipping because wagering has leveled off while taxes and expenses have increased.’
    • ‘The ‘old boys' club’ must certainly feel the power slipping.’
    • ‘The closing weeks of May, however, saw prices of copper slipping gradually to current levels with no immediate evidence of pulling out of the trough.’
    • ‘On the other hand, observers note that the bank's performance was already slipping well before the tragedy.’
    • ‘I thought they were supposed to be pretty on-the-ball and up-to-the-minute, but it seems standards are slipping.’
    • ‘Sales were down 16.8 percent and market share slipped from 9.6 percent to 8.2 percent.’
    • ‘Their performance in school began slipping, and they said they were being mistreated in their foster home.’
    • ‘The stock has slipped nearly 19 per cent in the past three months.’
    • ‘Yet, perhaps he does indeed have a point: have standards slipped?’
    • ‘Pre-tax profits in the first half, however, slipped back by 25 per cent due to higher interest charges.’
    • ‘Control would be passed to frontline ward staff and patients would be encouraged to speak out if they thought hygiene standards were slipping.’
    • ‘In my opinion, these ideas and ideals are slipping fast, and we need to fight for them.’
    • ‘Because of her tendency to allow other people's values and beliefs to affect her, Barbara's work performance is slipping.’
    • ‘Gradually, she slipped to the bottom rank of the class.’
    • ‘However, the group's shares have slipped to less than half the levels of this time last year as a result of the investor flight to new-technology companies.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, she does not have the skills to pay the bills, and her farm quickly slips into destitution.’
    • ‘Shares slipped for the first day in five yesterday, mirroring declines across Europe.’
    • ‘Apple has led the field in design improvements and the adoption of new technologies, but has been slipping in the performance stakes with processor speed.’
    • ‘The gross profit margin slipped to 42.3 per cent from 43 per cent a year earlier.’
    • ‘The price has been slipping for 18 years as central banks sell off their reserves, raising capital to invest in the stock market.’
    drop, go down, sink, slump, tumble, plunge, plummet, decrease, depreciate
    decline, deteriorate, degenerate, worsen, get worse, fall, fall off, drop, decay, backslide, regress
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    1. 3.1be slippinginformal Be behaving in a way that is not up to one's usual level of performance:
      ‘you're slipping, Doyle—you need a holiday’
      • ‘Whatever it is that makes you realise you're slipping, make sure you use it to trigger yourself into healthier habits.’
      • ‘Oh, Daddy, I don't understand why my common sense is slipping.’
      • ‘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.’
      decline, deteriorate, degenerate, worsen, get worse, fall, fall off, drop, decay, backslide, regress
      View synonyms
  • 4[with object] Escape or get loose from (a means of restraint):

    ‘the giant balloon slipped its moorings’
    • ‘Suddenly my wife exclaimed ‘Sorry, I have to go, he's slipped his collar’.’
    1. 4.1 (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 mind’
      • ‘In case it had slipped anyone's mind in all this madness, Liverpool trail their friendly neighbours by 9 points for the first time in 20 years.’
      • ‘For the moment, thoughts of Daeannon and the tea slipped from his mind.’
      • ‘All thoughts of the broken pact slipped from Arlan's mind as he started for her in concern.’
      • ‘Everything else had slipped from their minds for the time being.’
      • ‘Not a care in the world, everything just slipped from his mind.’
      • ‘English went smoothly and by the time her fourth period came around any trace of David Walker slipped from her mind.’
      • ‘Either it slipped my mind that I was, in fact, 19, or I'd suffered momentary aphasia.’
      • ‘I haven't been writing too long, so details do slip my mind, whether you choose to believe it or not.’
      • ‘Although she missed Ethan terribly, it was easy to let him slip from her mind when she was surrounded by many handsome, earnest sailors.’
      • ‘The distribution of icebergs did not seem to fit the radar picture very closely, but that slipped from everybody's mind.’
      • ‘Would he suddenly remember meetings and conversations that had earlier slipped his mind?’
      • ‘Everything else slipped from her mind and she ended up staring at whatever caught her eye.’
      • ‘The ability to speak, to form sentences, to conjugate vowels had totally slipped from Janet's mind.’
      • ‘All other thoughts slipped her mind, and she sat down again, squeezing his hand.’
      • ‘She acted as though she were trying to recall a fact that has completely slipped her mind.’
      • ‘She tumbled out of bed, the last vestiges of the dream slipping from her mind.’
      • ‘The fact that he was employed there had completely slipped my mind.’
      • ‘The fact that today was July 24 slipped his mind as a new thought suddenly sprung up in his mind.’
      • ‘A name like that could so easily slip one's mind.’
      • ‘You remembered the tunes of Christine still, but more and more regularly the words of her tended to slip from your mind.’
    2. 4.2 Release (an animal, typically a hunting dog) from restraint:
      ‘they slipped the hounds, the hare racing for the side of the hill’
      • ‘They are in the leash, but in a moment they will be slipped.’
      • ‘When game was sighted, the huntsman slipped the dogs.’
    3. 4.3Knitting Move (a stitch) to the other needle without knitting it:
      ‘slip the next twelve stitches on to a stitch holder’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Be sure you slip the stitch as if to knit, not as if to purl.’
      • ‘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.’
    4. 4.4 Release (the clutch of a motor vehicle) slightly or for a moment:
      ‘I gunned the engine, slipping the clutch slightly’
      • ‘First was too snatchy, second meant constant clutch slipping, resulting in wrist-ache after a few days, and the weather, which was unseasonably atrocious.’
      • ‘Avoid the practice of resting the foot continuously on the clutch pedal while driving and do not slip the clutch excessively instead of shifting gears.’
      • ‘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.’
    5. 4.5 Disengage (a ship's anchor) when leaving a port in haste:
      ‘they slipped their cables rather than stay to weigh anchor’
      • ‘Sorry but I'm unable to visit your blogs, we are slipping anchor and pulling out of harbour to run from an oncoming typhoon.’
      • ‘As I watched the soul depart, it was like seeing a mighty ship slip anchor from port, and the final awesome moment as when the gangplank is removed.’
    6. 4.6 (of an animal) produce (dead young) prematurely; abort:
      ‘if you twist a mare's back too sharply it can slip foal’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They also must document why a mare slipped a foal to collect on insurance claims and to secure unborn foal insurance for future pregnancies.’


  • 1An act of sliding unintentionally for a short distance:

    ‘a single slip could send them plummeting down the mountainside’
    • ‘The Defendant further alleges that Mrs. Cole was entirely, or, in the alternative, substantially responsible for the slip and fall.’
    • ‘Postal workers have enough problems with dog bites and slips, trips, and falls.’
    • ‘And this year heavy rain turned most of the course into a quagmire, making conditions even more challenging, causing many slips and falls throughout the afternoon.’
    • ‘The most common causes of accidents are slips, trips and falls at work and lifting habits which result in back injuries.’
    • ‘Of these often-untrained teens, 200,000 are injured every year through slips, falls, strains and burns.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Until now, medics have not seen an increase in the number of slips, trips and falls.’
    • ‘More than half a million people were hospitalised in the 1990s after slips and falls at work.’
    • ‘Shaun began the event cautiously knowing that one slip on the loose surface could lose him the event.’
    • ‘The claim arises out of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff as a result of a slip and fall.’
    • ‘But all these slips and falls by students and mostly teachers provided great entertainment for the onlookers.’
    • ‘Good health and safety practices at work can prevent many slips, trips and falls.’
    • ‘The chances of a slip or fall significantly increase when walking on ice or snow.’
    • ‘Staff from York Dungeon will be joining forces with students from York College to dramatise the dangers of slips, trips, burns, cuts and stabbings in the kitchen.’
    • ‘One camp simply moved their game of Capture the Flag from the evening, when dew caused a lot of slips and falls, to the afternoon.’
    • ‘It had only been a little slip, and she'd recovered gracefully enough from the fall.’
    • ‘Most injuries were the result of minor slips or falls, and only two people had to be taken to York Hospital.’
    • ‘Many falls result from trips and slips when the impaired balance of an elderly person prevents swift corrective action.’
    • ‘Rugs and mats will absorb the moisture, reducing the risk of a slip and fall injury further in the home.’
    • ‘For ballet dancers, a slick floor can lead to slips and falls or clenched muscles from trying to hold on to the floor.’
    false step, misstep, slide, skid, fall, trip, tumble
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    1. 1.1[mass noun] Relative movement of an object or surface and a solid surface in contact with it.
      • ‘Even without wheel slip, there is torque split to the rear.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The slip sent thousands of cubic metres of mud and debris crashing down a cliff, west of Matata, on to State Highway 2.’
      • ‘Partial slip was observed for single smooth pile while loading.’
    2. 1.2 A reduction in the movement of a pulley or other mechanism due to slipping of the belt, rope, etc.
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3 A sideways movement of an aircraft in flight, typically downwards towards the centre of curvature of a turn:
      ‘the slip is used to get rid of excess height’
      [mass noun] ‘the effects of slight slip on turns’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    4. 1.4Geology [mass noun] The extent of relative horizontal displacement of corresponding points on either side of a fault plane:
      [as modifier] ‘a slip plane’
      • ‘In the last few years an intermediate form of south flank deformation has been observed that results in slip rates of about 10 centimeters per day.’
      • ‘The thrust zone displays significant brecciation although no slip planes were located.’
      • ‘Shortening is manifested by the development of folds and thrust faults; the horizontal slip is accommodated by strike-slip faults.’
      • ‘The collision was accompanied by left-lateral strike slip and terrane displacement.’
      • ‘These structures provide an opportunity to directly study deformation processes and possible slip behaviour operating along such low-angle faults at depth.’
  • 2A fall to a lower level or standard:

    ‘a continued slip in house prices’
    • ‘A high finish is usually followed by a slip towards mediocrity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘AMD announced the slip in shipping forecasts last night at its latest conference for financial analysts.’
    • ‘New York, traditionally the hot spot to ring in the New Year, slips from first to seventh on this list.’
    • ‘Still, the Pentagon insists that, except for a slight slip in retention in the National Guard, recruiting is not suffering.’
    • ‘Any near-term funding shortfall will affect the overall schedule, and such schedule slips disrupt future funding.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Rapid Technology posted a 27% slip in revenues yesterday to 1.24 million for the six months to end of December.’
    1. 2.1 A minor or careless mistake:
      ‘the judge made a slip in his summing up’
      • ‘Her accent is serviceable, but there are occasional slips.’
      • ‘His slip did not go unnoticed by Elizabeth.’
      • ‘But the Rams can't afford a single slip if they want a part in any of the four BCS games, and this clearly is the biggest obstacle.’
      • ‘I was sure the slightest slip would cause my world to collapse, and I would be right back on the streets again.’
      • ‘Clerical errors and slips of this kind, honest mistakes, could be made by all manner of people in all manner of circumstances.’
      • ‘Radford's historical research was meticulous, and, except for an occasional, very minor slip, the result is astonishing.’
      • ‘These are relatively minor slips in a long text.’
      • ‘They will look for flaws, for foolish slips, for proof that the wise are not perfect in their wisdom.’
      • ‘A slip at this level might not cost you your house, but it could cost you your reputation in the community.’
      • ‘No politician at this level makes slips like that.’
      • ‘Perhaps I would've fallen for her false sincerity if not for her slip.’
      mistake, error, blunder, miscalculation, oversight, omission, gaffe, faux pas, slip of the pen, slip of the tongue, lapse
      inaccuracy, fault, defect
      boo-boo, boner, howler, fail
      boob, clanger, bloomer, cock-up
      goof, blooper, bloop
      lapsus linguae, lapsus calami
      mistake, error, blunder, miscalculation, gaffe, faux pas, slip of the pen, slip of the tongue
      View synonyms
  • 3A loose-fitting garment, typically a short petticoat:

    ‘a silk slip’
    [as modifier] ‘a slip dress’
    • ‘She suggests trying one color scheme when purchasing outfits, such as a slip dress with a jacket, skirt, and pants.’
    • ‘About five minutes later, Ruth walked back in, wearing a slip dress almost identical to mine, except it was pink.’
    • ‘Her lipstick had seemed to wear off and was now on her teeth and the slip under her skirt was boldly showing.’
    • ‘She had discarded all her extra layers, leaving only a simple slip.’
    • ‘Jessica was wearing only a slip and a bra, sitting on her bed with her head in her hands.’
    • ‘When she was out of her heavy dress, Ingrid began pinning the materials to the slip that Pearl wore, slowly forming the beginnings of a dress.’
    • ‘She normally wore a slip dress underneath, but she had been too warm to wear one tonight.’
    • ‘She said women can't go wrong wearing a slip dress and strappy shoes to a club.’
    • ‘You'll also find jewelry, old-fashioned slips and nighties, jackets, gloves, and even the odd pair of roller-skates.’
    • ‘Until then, all female stars wore full slips over their bra (as specified in the script).’
    • ‘Another Vera Wang was a simple slip dress with ribbons at the shoulder and jewelled trim to give it some Jazz Age sparkle.’
    • ‘The rest of the package contained a slip and underwear.’
    • ‘Fashion critics adore her dresses in hand-dyed shades of pearl, frost, teal, grey and chocolate, worn over silk slip dresses.’
    • ‘Walking into the bathroom with her dress slip still on she walked into a freezing cold jet of water.’
    • ‘This mix of lace, silk and cotton by Pazuki at Sola is perfect for layering over a slip dress or wearing on its own.’
    • ‘‘He told her that her slip was showing,’ Auntie Rose explained smiling happily at the memory.’
    • ‘Layering will also define looks as fur and sheepskin and faux jackets help keep the chill off skimpy slip dresses for evening.’
    • ‘They were fine clothes, silk slips in peaches and pinks, cotton blouses and linen suits.’
    • ‘Her gown was made of silk, and the slip was made of crushed velvet in a shade of purple that was darker yet.’
    • ‘With Phoebe's help, she'd chosen a floral slip dress with a low neckline and spaghetti straps.’
    underskirt, petticoat, underslip, half-slip
    View synonyms
  • 4Cricket
    A fielding position (often one of two or more in an arc) close behind the batsman on the off side, for catching balls edged by the batsman:

    ‘he was caught in the slips for 32’
    ‘King is at first slip’
    • ‘Earlier, star batsman Mark Waugh passed a fitness test on an injured left hand but abandoned his usual place in the slips and fielded in the deep.’
    • ‘It is crucial that they field well and hold all the catches, especially in the slips because the ball is bound to find the edges in the bowler-friendly conditions.’
    • ‘Prasad's bat seemed to be very narrow in width as he continuously edged the ball in between the slips for boundaries scoring most of his 24 runs behind the wickets.’
    • ‘Jones has a good old swing of the bat, edging it high over the slips to the third man boundary.’
    • ‘The Test opener had hit a four over point the previous delivery and was attempting the same shot which flew into the safe hands of Mark Waugh in slips in the final ball of the session.’
    1. 4.1 A fielder at slip.
      • ‘After 35 minutes there were still four slips and two gullies with Darren Lehmann out in familiar territory at mid on and Bichel at mid off, the only men in front of the wicket.’
      • ‘He had his share of luck and survived two reprieves - an edge that flew between the wicketkeeper and first slip and an extremely close lbw appeal later in his innings.’
      • ‘Sarwan settled quickly and seemed in a hurry to score runs as he flashed a cut through the slips for four.’
      • ‘Darren Lehmann walked out to three slips and a bouncer, and stepped off following a pull similar to Hayden's.’
      • ‘When they placed a slip, he still somehow managed to find the gap between the wicketkeeper and the fielder.’
  • 5

    ‘he brought his steamer to the yard for overhaul at his old employer's slip’
    short for slipway
  • 6usually slipsA leash which enables a dog to be released quickly:

    ‘Tommy bolted off like a greyhound released from the slips’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This handy slip leash adjusts to any size dog.’
  • 7Knitting

    ‘one colour at a time should be knitted in striped slip’
    short for slip stitch


  • give someone the slip

    • informal Evade or escape from someone:

      ‘we gave them the slip at the station’
      • ‘After initially giving them the slip, one hour later the man was cornered in Soi Bua Khao, but he continued to resist arrest.’
      • ‘Of course I followed him, but they must have seen me and they gave me the slip.’
      • ‘When a green turtle appeared and we stopped to watch it, he was off like a cowboy at home on the range, harrying and hustling it until the flustered creature managed to give him the slip.’
      • ‘My lens chased goldsinny and small-mouthed wrasse and in under the crevices I focused on several leopard-spot gobies and a few squat lobsters, which gave me the slip just before I could get the perfect picture.’
      • ‘They managed to get the 120 lb harbour porpoise into a water-filled rubber dinghy, after it twice gave them the slip.’
      • ‘Just what were you thinking, giving Melanie the slip?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He gave them the slip, and now he's pretty well hidden, because this laboratory is underground.’
      • ‘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.’
      escape from, get away from, evade, dodge, elude, lose, shake off, throw off, throw off the scent, get clear of, get rid of, get free from, break away from, leave behind
      get shot of
      View synonyms
  • let something slip

    • 1Reveal something inadvertently in the course of a conversation:

      [with clause] ‘Clive had let slip he was married’
      • ‘Apparently he got himself so worked up about the possibility of letting something slip that he came close to calling off the whole interview just 30 minutes before it was due to begin.’
      • ‘For some reason, he let slip that his company planned to introduce an important enhancement for a best-selling product.’
      • ‘It's nice to know that there are still a few musicians around who wouldn't make you cringe if they inadvertently let slip what they think about the election.’
      • ‘Did I just let it slip that Dad and I conversed about a relationship possibility with Ryan?’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘Kenneth Cox continued with his charade until someone in the house accidentally let his real name slip, said Stacey Turner, prosecuting.’
      • ‘But it would have been easy to let it slip inadvertently.’
      • ‘He seemed far enough removed from Glasgow to be emboldened into letting something slip about the nature of his relationship with McLeish.’
      • ‘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.’
      reveal, disclose, divulge, let out, give away, come out with, blurt out, leak
      give the game away
      let on, blab, let the cat out of the bag, spill the beans
      blow the gaff
      View synonyms
    • 2Release a hound from the leash so as to begin the chase:

      ‘let slip the dogs of war’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • let something slip through one's fingers (or grasp)

    • Lose hold or possession of something:

      ‘I let the money slip through my fingers’
      figurative ‘Edward was determined not to let Scotland slip from his grasp’
      ‘he had let the Open title slip through his grasp’
      • ‘Every year I've been presented with some kind of opportunity, and each time I've let it slip through my fingers.’
      • ‘Having been in the industry so long he has no doubt ploughed through thousands of scripts: I ask him if he's ever let a great script slip through his fingers.’
      • ‘I genuinely didn't expect us to be in this position after just four races and we have no intention of letting this advantage slip through our fingers.’
      • ‘But I could not let this chance slip through my fingers.’
      • ‘I've been trying to find these two guys for weeks, and I'm not going to just let them slip through my fingers like the other times.’
      • ‘He was not going to let another thief slip through his fingers.’
      • ‘The Clifton Parkers, who entertain Westoe tomorrow, have let several victories slip through their fingers in recent weeks because of lack of fitness.’
      • ‘It was one of my biggest human-interest exclusives and, naively, I let it slip through my fingers.’
      • ‘In some games we've let ourselves down and let points slip through our fingers.’
      • ‘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).

      • ‘In the context of the interview, this statement can only be considered a slip of the tongue.’
      • ‘But the old broadcaster's instinct had taken over: don't draw attention to a slip of the tongue by going back to correct it.’
      • ‘‘It was a slip of the tongue,’ the Prime Minister's official spokesman said of the comment.’
      • ‘Those minor slips of the tongue are quite embarrassing.’
      • ‘When people are prevented from saying what they really think, the only way to tell what they think is to second-guess their views from insinuation, rumour or slips of the tongue.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In an effort to save myself the embarrassment of seeing other people embarrassed, I at first went around shrugging off the whole thing as simply a slip of the tongue.’
      • ‘But was his use of the present tense - ‘I have this heart thing which we dealt with in 24 hours’ - a slip of the tongue or inadvertent admission of a continuing problem?’
      • ‘I think it's to the credit of both papers that they acknowledge their fallibility, but the errors in question are rather more than slips of the pen.’
  • slip through the net

  • 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.

      • ‘But there's many a slip twixt cup and lip, especially in the gold mining business.’
      • ‘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 as one goes from generalities to specifics.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • slip away

    • 1Depart without saying goodbye; leave quietly or surreptitiously.

      • ‘Even now he turns up to Midge's gigs, stands at the back to watch his old mate perform and then quietly slips away again.’
      • ‘I watched as Dana slowly slipped away, looking slightly disappointed that she didn't have a date.’
      • ‘Bertie, of course, was far too humble for an over-the-top tribute such as this and had slipped away quietly for other duties.’
      • ‘Jen slipped away to the only peaceful location on the campus.’
      • ‘Fadran slipped away quietly, and Cora and Arlan did not notice.’
      • ‘The shy rescuers didn't want to be named and slipped away quietly.’
      • ‘Jack and the rest of the soldiers were in the courtyard so I slipped away quietly.’
      • ‘Sarah looked confused, but then decided to slip away quietly into the shadows beneath a restaurant roof.’
      • ‘She looked around once more, and then quietly slipped away, unnoticed.’
      • ‘I got up and dressed quickly, hoping to slip away quietly without Dr Bernadi realising.’
      • ‘As the two continue to argue, young Bitsy slips away from her position outside the room, walking slowly downstairs to join the smallest member of the household.’
      • ‘‘Please excuse me, sirs,’ Julian said quietly, then slipped away as discreetly as he could.’
      • ‘She slipped away from him and waved a silent goodbye before leaving the room.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Having come to this conclusion, Ayame slipped away from her post at the window and disappeared into the darkness of the den.’
      • ‘He slipped away from Ami slowly, trying not to disturb her.’
      • ‘Rena quietly slipped away from the room and headed towards her own.’
      • ‘While Amber rattled on about what she wanted Anthony to do, Nick gave him a good-natured wave and quietly slipped away from the conversation.’
      • ‘‘Come on, let's get out of here,’ she said to him quietly, clutching his hand as they slipped away to the door.’
      • ‘Quickly and quietly, Cassandra slipped away from the scene and began the short journey back to her house.’
      escape, make one's escape, get away, break free, make one's getaway, abscond, decamp
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Slowly disappear; recede or dwindle:
        ‘his ability to concentrate is slipping away’
        • ‘Elena could feel her strength slowly slipping away.’
        • ‘The slim hope of a final day denouement for the championship next weekend slipped away slowly in the second half.’
        • ‘‘Our town is slowly slipping away,’ Harlan says, ticking off the businesses that have closed in recent years.’
        • ‘All the want for adventure was slowly slipping away.’
        • ‘The awkwardness of the moment slowly slipped away as he leaned back.’
        • ‘Uncle Matt explains as his patience slowly slips away.’
        • ‘Vanilla tried to regain her composure, which was slowly slipping away.’
        • ‘She remembered consciousness slowly slipping away, until she must have fallen from the tree into the snow.’
        • ‘Her typical composure in dealing with stressful situations such as this was slowly slipping away from her as her terror and fright increased.’
        • ‘Their savings slowly slip away until they reach a sobering moment when Jane says they mustn't go to bed late because ‘the soup kitchen stops serving at eight.’’
        • ‘He felt his life fleeting and his mind slowly slipping away; losing every thought.’
        • ‘The connection he had felt with her from the very beginning was slowly slipping away and he didn't know how to stop it.’
        • ‘And since he was rich and could afford to bribe a judge, she knew her freedom was slowly slipping away.’
        • ‘It was once again a game that slowly slips away from you and we'll have to do something about it.’
        • ‘The feeling of detached indifference had been soothing and he hated that it was slowly slipping away.’
        • ‘Caleb tried to hold onto his fury but he could feel it slowly slipping away.’
        • ‘Words must be spoken, confessions must told, for time was slowly slipping away.’
        • ‘I leave out the part about feeling as though my personality is slowly slipping away.’
        • ‘Brayden's own smile slipped away unnoticed as Cwery sat up slowly.’
        • ‘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.’
      2. 1.2Die peacefully (used euphemistically):
        ‘he lay there and quietly slipped away’
        • ‘As the sun was shining on the morning of Thursday, April 1, 2004, Ed's life peacefully slipped away.’
        • ‘In the end she slipped quietly away from us, but her family and those of us who befriended her over the years will happily retain the many lovely memories she has left behind.’
        • ‘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?’
        • ‘‘Sam, no one could ever replace you,’ Henry said, looking at her and seeing her slipping away slowly.’
        • ‘His friends rallied around and he enjoyed their visits during his final illness before he slipped quietly away.’
        • ‘Slowly he felt her slip away, her warmth diminishing until she was no more.’
        • ‘It was only three weeks into our friendship that I watched her slowly slip away.’
        • ‘Politely, proudly and quietly, she slipped away while the doctors and nurses watched.’
        • ‘They knew she was slipping away slowly, so they should just let her go in peace.’
        • ‘His feet kicked at the ground, stars filled his vision, and slowly Samir's life slipped away.’
        • ‘One by one, the legendary groundbreaking rockers of the '60s are slowly slipping away from us.’
        • ‘His wife Ann was continually at his side right up to the end, which was a twenty four hour a day job, but despite the hard work and heartbreak on seeing him slowly slip away from her was a daily labour of love.’
        • ‘We are removed from our sense of self, conscience, purpose, but it isn't the fault of the body, slowly starting to slip away into death.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Bill, who was predeceased by his wife Annie, belonged to a grand generation of Irish people who are slipping quietly away from the land they loved so well.’
        • ‘Typically, both slipped away quietly and they will be missed.’
        • ‘My dad was slowly slipping away as he was more and more at the hospital.’
        • ‘Kiv wished he could just slip away into peaceful blackness; the pain was driving him mad.’
        • ‘His serene and gentle nature and the manner in which he accepted his illness was inspirational to many and he slipped away quietly surrounded by his beloved family.’
        • ‘Audra was slowly slipping away from this life and going back home.’
        die, pass away, pass on, expire, breathe one's last, go, go to meet one's maker, shuffle off this mortal coil, go to one's last resting place, go the way of all flesh, cross the styx
        View synonyms
    • 2(of time) elapse:

      ‘the night was slipping away’
      • ‘It's hard to believe that 30 years have slipped by since the Sligo men last lifted the Connacht senior crown.’
      • ‘As time slips by you either have to increase the amount invested or find a higher rate of return.’
      • ‘The months seem to be slipping by very quickly now, and I'm working on two issues at once at the moment.’
      • ‘Autumn was quickly slipping into winter and each day the climate turned colder.’
      • ‘Instead, as her school days in Carraroe slipped by, she was looking for something either in journalism or art college.’
      • ‘Nine years have slipped by since their last trophy.’
      • ‘However, a week scarcely slips by when we read a quote from Liam or George.’
      • ‘Many a year has slipped by since that day in 1950 when Martin Niland set off on his bicycle for Annagh Hill polling station in Kiltimagh.’
      • ‘The days seemed long, the nights so short and time slipped by so fast’
      • ‘The whole notion of time in the Maldives is weird - day after identical day merges seamlessly into the next and time slips by like sand through your fingers.’
      • ‘Time slipped by as the dark spring clouds and bright sunlight rolled over the Rhodope landscape.’
      • ‘Time is slipping by and our children are missing out on vital aspects of the education due to them for want of safe, healthy and educationally friendly accommodation.’
      • ‘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 search and rescue is becoming increasingly desperate as time slips by.’
      • ‘But time was slipping by, and it was becoming increasingly clear that nothing was going to be finalised before our return home.’
      • ‘So another summer slips by with Yorkshire flattering to deceive in knockout cricket, the high expectations of the first half of the season suddenly evaporating into thin air.’
      • ‘On Friday night, six hours of gradually more inebriated conversation slipped by in an absolute instant.’
      • ‘With time slipping by and dinner looming he thought: ‘I'm supposed to be intelligent, there must be some way out of this.’’
      • ‘The mini vacation that I have taken has slipped by quickly.’
      pass, elapse, go by, go past, roll by, roll past, glide by, glide past, slide by, slide past, fly by, fly past, steal by, steal past, tick by, tick past, wear on
      View synonyms
  • slip something in

    • Insert a remark smoothly or adroitly into a conversation:

      ‘she slipped in a question about the length of time he'd been working on the assignment’
      • ‘Not that he is going to let slip any details in this interview.’
      • ‘And then, they slipped the question in, subtly, under my defenses.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Just slip an invitation in to the conversation like that.’
      • ‘Get your interviewee relaxed and then slip the difficult questions in when you are both comfortable.’
      • ‘You defend yourself, then slip an accusation in under the table.’
  • slip out

    • (of a remark) be uttered inadvertently:

      ‘the question slipped out before I'd considered the wisdom of it’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘No matter how deep in denial he is, sometimes the truth slips out.’
      • ‘The remark had slipped out before she could stop it, but she didn't bother taking it back.’
      • ‘I clenched my teeth together to prevent any spontaneous remark from slipping out.’
      • ‘They don't have the slightest idea of anything sensible to say, so a formidable quote always slips out.’
      • ‘I ask the question actors should never ask, the taboo, but like some awful knee-jerk reaction it slips out.’
      • ‘Then it just sort of slipped out that the family friend happened to be the Maharajah of Jodhpur.’
  • slip up

    • Make a careless error:

      ‘they often slipped up when it came to spelling’
      • ‘So I slipped up a bit, having a bit more caffeine than I probably should, but only when on vacation and with family.’
      • ‘She only feels ill when she slips up and eats dairy products.’
      • ‘I have done December and January, I slipped up on February - the short month passing by as I waited for a good day that never came.’
      • ‘While most of their main rivals were slipping up, the Tanners beat 10-man Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 on Saturday.’
      • ‘There is of course many a slip twixt the cup and the lip but really it borders on the impossible to visualise them slipping up this time.’
      • ‘He never slips up, because he is a world-class survivor of media onslaught.’
      • ‘But she slipped up and gave a secret about whether she and her husband Ben Affleck are expecting a boy or a girl.’
      • ‘The boy pretends he is a lawyer but keeps slipping up.’
      • ‘Was there not enough space to print the truth or has someone been slipping up on their research skills?’
      • ‘Charles Kennedy may have slipped up on a tax question at their policy briefing, but this was probably down to sleep deprivation after the birth of his new baby son!’
      • ‘His Liverpool team is showing signs of improvement with every game that hint of even better things to come next season, and with Leeds slipping up again, second place in the Premiership is not such a fanciful notion.’
      • ‘Now one vaccine manufacturer slipping up would not be a major problem if there were lots more manufacturers ready to step into the breach.’
      • ‘They had slipped up in regard to Mr. Egan's date of birth, Mr. Collins said.’
      • ‘He seemed forever on edge, worried about slipping up or uttering something to upset the assembled crowd.’
      • ‘It is said in Washington that a gaffe is when someone slips up and tells the truth.’
      • ‘It will have occurred in one of the local borough support offices, where somebody has slipped up and not informed that officer, and there can be no excuse for it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With closest rivals Radcliffe Borough and Eastwood Town continually slipping up in their bid to catch up on the runaway leaders, John Reed's men now have a nine-point advantage and at least four games in hand.’
      • ‘Usually they just let you keep slipping up, spending more than you have in your account so that they can slap on the €12.70 bounced cheque fee or the hefty interest surcharge if you become overdrawn.’
      • ‘At the end, the Chinese mistress of ceremonies slipped up by saying ‘goodbye’ in Japanese.’
      make a mistake, blunder, make a blunder, get something wrong, miscalculate, make an error, trip up, err, go wrong
      make a bloomer, make a boo-boo, screw up, make a howler, muff something up
      boob, cock something up, drop a clanger
      goof up
      View synonyms


Middle English (in the sense ‘move quickly and softly’): probably from Middle Low German slippen (verb); compare with slippery.




Main definitions of slip in English

: slip1slip2slip3



  • 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 below’
    • ‘My teacher, Mr. Zajicek, didn't ask any questions; he didn't even send me to the office for a tardy slip.’
    • ‘A Roll of Honour is to be prepared from information received on cheque slips and this will be put on public display in due course.’
    • ‘He pulled the small slip of paper out of his pocket and copied the information to the computer screen.’
    • ‘I have my plane ticket in hand and the visa (a removable slip of paper, unfortunately) in the passport.’
    • ‘This could be a box where the children empty their book bags of notes from the teacher, school newsletters, trip slips and any other paper a parent has to see.’
    • ‘All you have to do is fill in one - or more - of the voting slips and send them to our offices.’
    • ‘Watch out for errors on your accounts by keeping good records: hang on to all your receipts and ATM slips and check every statement carefully.’
    • ‘We will start this week if all permission slips are turned in tomorrow.’
    • ‘Sometimes the reasons are a long time coming, but when they finally do, they are clearly printed like her pension slip.’
    • ‘You'll get a reply slip with the Statement of Decisions letter.’
    • ‘I hand the late slip to my teacher and slide into my seat in the middle of the room.’
    • ‘Ballot slips have been sent out along with letters asking disposal workers if they support the offer they previously rejected.’
    • ‘She pulled out a slip of blank parchment, a bottle of ink, a quill pen, and a jar of writing dust.’
    • ‘By having this information on the deposit slip, you can reconstruct these records even if they should be lost or destroyed.’
    • ‘It is hereby agreed claims can be collected on certified copy slips and/or copy policies.’
    • ‘I'd packed the pieces before listing them so all that was needed was to print off the packing slips and labels and tape the lids down.’
    • ‘Could a printed routing slip or attachment memo be used?’
    • ‘Each bench is numbered and its corresponding number appears on your entry slip that is sent to you prior to the show.’
    • ‘Ten slips of paper were folded into a plastic bag, and they drew lots.’
    • ‘Invitation slips will be sent out shortly and those planning to attend are asked to send back the reply slips as soon as possible.’
    piece of paper, scrap of paper, paper, sheet, note
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Printing A printer's proof on a long piece of paper; a galley proof.
      • ‘The most usual plan is to set up the type in long slips the width of the intended page cut of variable length (called 'galley slips,' after the special press on which they are generally printed), each slip containing matter enough for two or three pages.’
      • ‘It is quite natural in that context to incorporate the disputes clause as well, but in order to do that it would either have to be set out in full in the body of the slip or identified in some other way.’
      • ‘These proof slips are read before they are sent to the author, and all gross errors corrected, doubtful words marked, and the author's attention called by the printer's ' reader ' to any redundancies of expression or any sentences which are not apparently intelligible.’
    2. 1.2 A long, narrow strip of a thin material such as wood.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The sleeves were merely just two slips of material which draped just below the shoulders.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2A cutting taken from a plant for grafting or planting; a scion.

    • ‘It's the best excuse to start your own slips from market sweet potatoes sprouted at home.’
    • ‘The idea is that gardeners will deliver extra plants, slips, seeds and seedlings to the Horticultural Training Centre at Zoo Lake.’
    • ‘These suckers, slips, and the crown of the fruit may be used in propagation.’
    • ‘Detach suckers and slips and pot in a well-draining soil.’
    • ‘Alternatively, they may sell the slips to those who are seeking to increase the amount of cane they can sell at the government's price.’
    • ‘Most of these plants are sold at two years old as slips but the Taylors also grow a number of trees on to larger sizes to cater for those special situations when a more established tree is required.’
    • ‘In the California Gull (L. californicus) account, there are several slips.’
    cutting, graft
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: probably from Middle Dutch, Middle Low German slippe cut, strip.




Main definitions of slip in English

: slip1slip2slip3



  • [mass noun] A creamy mixture of clay, water, and typically a pigment of some kind, used especially for decorating earthenware.

    • ‘Next, the entire area of incised decoration was covered with a layer of black slip.’
    • ‘Most often, the entire presentation surface of a redware object was covered with white slip, and a design was then scratched into the surface.’
    • ‘Then, using a flat blade on the lathe, the slip was scraped away, exposing the white earthenware body inlaid with the black checked pattern.’
    • ‘Next, they stand the creature up on the cutout base, and secure it with slip and a worm of clay worked into the joint.’
    • ‘When paintings are finished, porcelain slip is poured onto bat and tapped gently to remove any air bubbles.’
    • ‘The solution proved to be applying layers of slip to a damp surface.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Explaining her actions for viewers, she applies white slip and colored underglazes for decorations.’
    • ‘To alleviate the flaking, I added about a tablespoon of white glue to a pint of slip and then thinned it to a slip consistency again with water.’
    • ‘He produces work in a variety of colours and textures by applying layers of slip and glaze and firing individual pieces a number of times.’
    • ‘You can tell this might be a problem if a white or yellowy film rises to the surface after mixing up a clay slip and letting it dry.’
    • ‘The plaster sucks away the moisture from the clay and the remaining liquid slip in the hollow is poured out.’
    • ‘For the most part the wares are decorated with images of animals in white slip.’
    • ‘Using underglazes, teenagers draw compositions on plaster slabs, and slip is then poured over the designs.’
    • ‘Thin layers of variegated slip gave pallid earthenware surfaces the illusion of solid stone.’
    • ‘When the water from the slip is absorbed into the plaster, Steve removes the clay from the plaster.’
    • ‘I experimented with reducing leftover dried clay scraps to the consistency of slip and strained the mixture to remove lumps.’
    • ‘To reduce fire potential, straw can be treated with natural flame retardants such as boric acid or clay slip, a watery solution of clay and dirt.’
    • ‘I now use the following system: patch holes first by stuffing them with straw dipped into a clay slip.’


Mid 17th century: of obscure origin; compare with Norwegian slip(a) slime.