- To slither is to move smoothly and unobtrusively along a surface, often with a twisting motion.
When a snake glides smoothly along the ground, twisting back and forth, this is an example of a time when the snake slithers.
- to slip or slide on or as on a slope with a loose or broken surface
- to move along by sliding or gliding, as a snake
- to walk with a sliding motion
Origin of slitherMiddle English slitheren, variant, variety of slideren ; from Old English sliderian, frequentative ; from base of slidan, to slide
intransitive verbslith·ered, slith·er·ing, slith·ers
- To move or slide by twisting or undulating the body over a surface, as in the manner of a snake.
- To walk with a sliding or shuffling gait: slithered over to the window.
- To slip and slide, as on a loose or uneven surface: “We went slithering down the muddy rocks to sea level” (Jane Rodgers).
Origin of slitherMiddle English slethren, variant of sliddren, from Old English slidrian, frequentative of slīdan, to slide.
(third-person singular simple present slithers, present participle slithering, simple past and past participle slithered)
From Middle English slitheren, alteration of slideren (“to slither, creep”), from Old English slidrian (“to slip, slide, slither”), from Proto-Germanic *slidrijaną (“to slide, slither”), from Proto-Indo-European *sleidh- (“to slip”). Cognate with Dutch slidderen (“to slip, wriggle, slither”). More at slide.