from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The action of sliding or slipping over a surface, often sideways.
  • noun A plank, log, or timber, usually one of a pair, used as a support or as a track for sliding or rolling heavy objects.
  • noun A pallet for loading or handling goods, especially one having solid sideboards and no bottom.
  • noun One of several logs or timbers forming a skid road.
  • noun Nautical A wooden framework attached to the side of a ship to prevent damage, as when unloading.
  • noun A shoe or drag applying pressure to a wheel to brake a vehicle.
  • noun A runner in the landing gear of certain aircraft.
  • noun A period of sharp decline or repeated losses.
  • noun A path to ruin or failure.
  • intransitive verb To slide, especially roughly or heavily.
  • intransitive verb To slide sideways while moving because of loss of traction.
  • intransitive verb To slide from forward momentum, especially during an attempt to stop: synonym: slide.
  • intransitive verb To move sideways in a turn because of insufficient banking. Used of an airplane.
  • intransitive verb Informal To fall or decline sharply.
  • intransitive verb To brake (a wheel) with a skid.
  • intransitive verb To haul on a skid or skids.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In lumbering, a log or pole, commonly used in pairs, upon which logs are handled or piled; also the log or pole laid transversely in a skid-road.
  • noun A peeling-iron; an instrument for peeling bark from trees or logs.
  • In lumbering: To draw (logs) from the stump to the skidway, landing, or mill.
  • As applied to a road, to reinforce (it) by placing logs or poles across it.
  • To check with a brake, as wheels, so that they will continue to slide but not to rotate, as the wheels of a moving train. (See skid, intransitive verb, 1.)
  • To collect (logs) and pile upon a skidway.
  • To place or move on a skid or skids.
  • To support by means of skids.
  • To check with a skid, as wheels in going down-hill.
  • To slide along without revolving, as a wheel: said also of any object mounted on wheels so moving.
  • noun Nautical:
  • noun A framework of planks or timber fitted to the outside of a ship abreast of the hatches, to prevent injury to the side while cargo is hoisted in or out.
  • noun A strut or post to sustain a beam or deck, or to throw the weight of a heavy object upon a part of the structure able to bear the burden
  • noun One of a pair of timbers in the waist to support the larger boats when aboard.
  • noun A log forming a track for a heavy moving object; a timber forming an inclined plane in loading or unloading heavy articles from trucks, etc.
  • noun One of a number of timbers resting on blocks, on which a structure, such as a boat, is built.
  • noun A metal or timber support for a cannon.
  • noun One of a pair of parallel timbers for supporting a barrel, a row of casks, or the like.
  • noun The brake of a crane.
  • noun A shoe or drag used for preventing the wheels of a wagon or carriage from revolving when descending a hill; hence, a hindrance or obstruction. Also called skid-pan.
  • A variant of scud.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To slide without rotating; -- said of a wheel held from turning while the vehicle moves onward.
  • intransitive verb To fail to grip the roadway; specif., to slip sideways on the road; to side-slip; -- said esp. of a cycle or automobile.
  • transitive verb To protect or support with a skid or skids; also, to cause to move on skids.
  • transitive verb To check with a skid, as wagon wheels.
  • transitive verb (Forestry) To haul (logs) to a skid and load on a skidway.
  • noun A shoe or clog, as of iron, attached to a chain, and placed under the wheel of a wagon to prevent its turning when descending a steep hill; a drag; a skidpan; also, by extension, a hook attached to a chain, and used for the same purpose.
  • noun A piece of timber used as a support, or to receive pressure.
  • noun (Naut.) Large fenders hung over a vessel's side to protect it in handling a cargo.
  • noun One of a pair of timbers or bars, usually arranged so as to form an inclined plane, as form a wagon to a door, along which anything is moved by sliding or rolling.
  • noun One of a pair of horizontal rails or timbers for supporting anything, as a boat, a barrel, etc.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Perhaps of Scandinavian origin.]


  • There is poverty some say the phrase "skid row" was invented here and in particular a high concentration of "gutter punks."

  • The Mustangs (0-10, 0-7) lost their 10th in a row and their skid is the second-longest in Division I to Army's 12-game drought.

  • The Mustangs (0-10, 0-7) lost their 10th in a row and their skid is the second-longest in Division I to Army's 12-game drought.

  • Montreal, which was on an 11-1-2 run prior to its current skid, is second in the Northeast with 62 points, 18 behind the Bruins, who lead the Eastern Conference.

  • (AP) - Now that Detroit Red Wings 'five-game skid is really a thing of the past.

  • The Rays 'skid is their longest since an eight-game losing streak last July.

  • The skid is the franchise's longest since the Montreal Expos dropped 12 straight from Aug. 13-27, 1976.

  • I think this one nails it: "It look [s] like an elephant that just got ran over by a truck and is now splattered and dazed on the ground, covered in skid marks."

    Boing Boing

  • The Wizards 'five-game skid is their longest of the season. - Basketball - New Jersey vs. Washington

  • Mike Dunleavy scored a season-high 25 points for the Pacers, whose skid is their longest since 1988-89. - Basketball - Indiana vs. Cleveland


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