Definition of slipstream in English:



  • 1A current of air or water driven back by a revolving propeller or jet engine.

    • ‘I made a semi-carrier type of approach in a left-hand turn with my head sticking out into the slipstream.’
    • ‘Make sure you anticipate the left-turning tendencies of a slipstream effect and ‘P factor.’’
    • ‘A slight contraction of the slipstream could also be detected by the pilot.’
    • ‘It looked as if the cowling had simply popped open in flight and crumpled in the slipstream.’
    • ‘We had to re-trim the ship and increase our throttle setting a little because of the increased drag caused by the bomb bay door hanging out in the slipstream.’
    • ‘In Nick's case, continuously driving in a slipstream hampered the air flow to cool the engine which created an additional problem.’
    • ‘The predominant cockpit sound is of the slipstream, rather than the resonant drone of the radial engines.’
    • ‘With a sudden blur of motion a single-person craft emerged from a slipstream.’
    • ‘She was using my slipstream to save her the energy of facing the wind resistance, very tactical but it made her a sitting duck for weaponry.’
    • ‘Since cooling was no problem in the slipstream of an airplane or airship, the gun could be stripped of its distinctive barrel jacket and fins.’
    • ‘Since cross winds will drift the slipstream downwind, a pace line must echelon to get the benefit of drafting in a cross wind.’
    • ‘Feather vibration in the slipstream produces the remarkable throbbing known as ‘drumming’.’
    • ‘The end of the road had come for the SAP, which rumbled and shook violently, punctured wing panels beginning to peel away in the slipstream.’
    • ‘We inched out the door, the wind clawing at my legs as they emerged into the slipstream - and then it happened.’
    • ‘As it rocketed past over our heads, the slipstream buffeted us.’
    • ‘Be sure to latch open the inside hatch before jettisoning the outside hatch, otherwise the suction of the slipstream would hold the inside hatch closed and you would be trapped.’
    • ‘This aircraft company was awarded a US Army contract to study vectored slipstreams and produce an aircraft that could test the concept.’
    • ‘They said we had been caught in a slipstream with another aircraft.’
    • ‘As the power comes in, the spiraling slipstream tends to yaw the aircraft to the left, especially at low speed.’
    • ‘When the large boxes slide out the back of a C-l7, they hit the slipstream and break up.’
    steady flow, stream, backdraught
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The partial vacuum created in the wake of a moving vehicle, often used by other vehicles in a race to assist in overtaking.
      • ‘I sat there in the slipstream grinning the grin of a man who's spent 20 years motoring and was now doing something so much more exciting.’
      • ‘A small meter will appear above the opposing racer and the longer you stay in his slipstream, the more the meter will fill.’
      • ‘Follow the rider in front of you so you're still in his slipstream after the corner.’
      • ‘Unfortunately on the restart, I had a lot of wheelspin which allowed Michael to take the slipstream and get past.’
      • ‘Riding in the slipstream of another competitor is not allowed.’
      • ‘By mid distance, Carroll was right with Rossiter and shot out of his slipstream at Church corner in a brave move.’
      • ‘Most every time you ride another racer's slipstream, you'll easily overtake their position long before the meter fills.’
      • ‘There are no coddling slipstreams, no coasting strategies, no tactical slowdowns.’
      • ‘You'll be touching 185 mph in seventh and, if you time it right, you can pop out of the slipstream of the guy in front and nip inside.’
      • ‘Bruseghin went for a very long sprint, gritting his teeth uphill, but in the last 100m, the all-white Di Luca just came out of his slipstream and edged past.’
      • ‘McEwen, whose only other stage victory came on the Champs Elysees in 1999, pulled out of the slipstream of his leading contenders in the final metres in Reims.’
      • ‘I tried to pull over to the side a few times to get out of his slipstream but it still wasn't enough.’
      • ‘After a turbulent start in which we lost several places, and got trapped behind some slower cars, Giancarlo moved up smoothly in his usual manner to leave one competitor after another in his slipstream.’
      • ‘I push the gas pedal up into its recess, the heel of my shoe against the carpet, and the car squeals forward with an accelerated slipstream.’
      • ‘Hushovd, in with a shout of taking the yellow jersey after his fifth place in Saturday's prologue time-trial, led the sprint out but he had Kirsipuu in his slipstream.’
      • ‘With drafting - sitting in the slipstream of the bike in front - being a legal part of the cycling leg at elite level, many top races become something of a procession with the places being sorted out on the run.’
      • ‘Each rider takes a brief turn at the front, then falls back into the slipstream, where he will expend 30 percent less energy.’
      • ‘Just before the finish, the trailing rider pulls out of the slipstream, and using their fresher legs may be able to overtake their opponent just before the line.’
      • ‘When I went into turn 13 I was just having an oversteering car pitching very much and obviously Michael had a clear run and caught my slipstream.’
      • ‘You swing out of a slipstream, overtaking a cyclist, and your helmet starts vibrating with the G-force - one false move and you will be picking gravel out of your teeth for weeks.’
      • ‘Pereiro took advantage coming out of his slipstream for the victory.’
      • ‘You will also feel very well protected with the hood down as a low driving position and high sides combine with a raked windscreen to send the slipstream and insects up and over your head.’
      • ‘Probably best to stick with full-on races, though, because of the extra speed you get from riding in the slipstream of other racers.’
      backwash, wash, turbulence
      View synonyms
  • 2An assisting force regarded as drawing something along behind something else.

    ‘when the US economy booms, the rest of the world is pulled along in the slipstream’
    • ‘It was then that Beryl Bartholomew came running out of the vicarage's gravelled drive, her long and flimsy nightie flowing in her slipstream, her bare feet seemingly oblivious to the harsh ground underfoot.’
    • ‘She chose to walk an extraordinary path, leading a whole slipstream of women to a fresh way of thinking, of being.’
    • ‘Ballymote now know how most of Sligo's Intermediate clubs felt when cringing in their classy slipstream throughout 2003.’
    • ‘The end instrumental ‘Centre of Gravity’ is a worthy corker too, layered drone like synths that make you want to lie back close your eyes and drift away in their slipstream of cathedralesque abandonment.’
    • ‘That is, regardless if the guests come bearing news from the world outside or if they come as poems, interruptions flowing from a slipstream from within, asking for the world to stop.’
    • ‘Nine minutes later, and the jet propulsion of Samuel allowed him to leave red shirts in his slipstream to fasten on to a Henry through ball.’
    • ‘He turned and was gone, cloak swirling briefly in his slipstream.’
    • ‘Those involved haven't the perspective or the judgement to realise that a moment's loss of control can end in death, as it did, in the street outside Anabel's and break the hearts of everyone caught in the slipstream.’
    • ‘Beckett shows what it is like to be aware in a single moment, rather than drifting in the slipstream of culturally mediated discursive patterns of thought.’
    • ‘Approaching the end of the channel, we found that the German couple who had pushed on ahead had encountered a more vigorous current and were clinging to the reef, their bodies extended like banners in the slipstream.’
    • ‘In 1997 the Irish punt rose in the slipstream of the British pound to its upper limits against all other currencies.’
    • ‘In the slipstream of the United States, Germany grew to become the second biggest export nation in the world.’
    • ‘Zurich's version has the misfortune of arriving on the scene in the slipstream, just as of one of the recording industry's greatest DVD masterpieces has majestically roared past.’
    • ‘A crowded street will self-organise into lanes with individuals inadvertently falling into the slipstream of others.’
    • ‘The ‘Death of God’ might have arrived on the wings of relativism, which glided in on the slipstream of Western rationalism.’
    • ‘I was walking behind a woman in the slipstream of her scent and I must admit it was wonderful; I would have followed her to the ends of the earth, but we got to my office building first!’
    • ‘Labor announces another policy that again gets caught in the slipstream of international turmoil.’
    • ‘The question has come up more than once in the slipstream of the surge of media reports on labor unrest in Guangdong.’
    • ‘The band hail from Slade in County Wexford and their sound is noted for its warmth of production, the harmony of acoustic guitar and the quietly funky, perfectly timed slipstreams of electronica.’
    • ‘It was Ally that we really wanted to punch, but poor old Bridget just got sucked along in Ally's slipstream.’


[no object]
  • (especially in motor racing) follow closely behind another vehicle, travelling in its slipstream and awaiting an opportunity to overtake.

    ‘he then slipstreamed and overtook me again’
    figurative ‘she had a rocky route through the rest of adolescence while I slipstreamed smoothly behind’
    with object ‘I planned to slipstream him in the last lap’
    • ‘Unfortunately, a slow pit stop brought Barichello back to the pack which included a fast rising Juan Pablo, who slipstreamed past Schumacher to take the lead.’
    • ‘But slipstreaming so closely hinders airflow into the trailing car's radiator and can cause its engine to overheat.’
    • ‘He is getting wiser in his old age having mastered the art of slipstreaming behind well built ladies.’
    • ‘I liked the old Hockenheim much more because of the long, narrow straights where slipstreaming was possible.’
    • ‘Inevitably, we have to find a compromise between the optimum performance for qualifying, and race conditions where slipstreaming will come into play or when the wind might have changed direction.’
    • ‘Except having a long straight and having a car right behind and slipstreaming like I was able to do with Rubens allowed me to pass.’
    • ‘Henry, the world championships silver medallist last year, has been happy to slipstream almost unnoticed in her wake.’
    • ‘If they had swimming in a round pool, you'd see all the swimmers chasing each other, trying to slipstream and upset each other.’
    • ‘With the now usual slipstreaming battles going on, positions changed several times each lap and Danilo was in the thick of the action, finding himself in 4th position on lap 8.’
    • ‘You can slipstream down the long start-finish straight and pass under braking into turn one, but it is a very tight turn.’
    • ‘Monza often produces some fantastic races - and if your bike is not on the pace you can still slipstream.’
    • ‘Henry, the world championship silver medallist last year, has been happy to slipstream almost unnoticed.’
    • ‘Clad in blue, Armstrong and his teammates relayed each other along the 64.5km course from Cambrai to Arras, taking turns at the front of their line while the others slipstreamed behind.’
    • ‘And he did that quite neatly in the seventh lap slipstreaming past the leader in the first corner.’
    • ‘With three laps to go, Klaffenbock, who had taken advantage of backmarkers holding up Webster to slipstream and then bob past him, was being hounded by the seven time world champion when the drama unfolded on the last lap.’
    • ‘Thinly disguised supercars clothed in bodies which have a passing resemblance to cars on sale in America race round, trading paint and slipstreaming for 500 miles.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the circuit has been altered since then to reduce the speeds, with some revisions to discourage slipstreaming and to lower the average lap speed.’
    • ‘I've been struggling with slipstreaming up until now, because there didn't seem to be any visual feedback to let you know when it's working.’
    • ‘In some activities, riding another person's coattails is frowned upon, but in cycling the practice, known as slipstreaming, is an art form.’
    • ‘Added to this are many extra rules to include slipstreaming, braking, collisions, etc.’