- 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 (â€œto slither, creepâ€), from Old English slidrian (â€œto slip, slide, slitherâ€), from Proto-Germanic *slidrijanÄ… (â€œto slide, slitherâ€), from Proto-Indo-European *sleidh- (â€œto slipâ€). Cognate with Dutch slidderen (â€œto slip, wriggle, slitherâ€). More at slide.