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

  • transitive v. To cut or form by cutting with forceful sweeping strokes: slash a path through the underbrush.
  • transitive v. To lash with sweeping strokes.
  • transitive v. To make a gash or gashes in.
  • transitive v. Sports To swing a stick at (an opponent) in ice hockey or lacrosse, in violation of the rules.
  • transitive v. To cut a slit or slits in, especially so as to reveal an underlying color: slash a sleeve.
  • transitive v. To criticize sharply: The reviewers slashed the composer's work.
  • transitive v. To reduce or curtail drastically: slash prices for a clearance sale.
  • intransitive v. To make forceful sweeping strokes with or as if with a sharp instrument.
  • intransitive v. To cut one's way with such strokes: We slashed through the dense jungle.
  • n. A forceful sweeping stroke made with a sharp instrument.
  • n. A long cut or other opening made by such a stroke; a gash or slit.
  • n. A decorative slit in a fabric or garment.
  • n. Branches and other residue left on a forest floor after the cutting of timber.
  • n. Wet or swampy ground overgrown with bushes and trees. Often used in the plural.
  • n. Printing A virgule.
  • conj. Informal As well as; and. Used in combination and often rendered as a virgule in print: an actor-slash-writer; a waiter/dancer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A swift cut with a blade, particularly with fighting weapons as a sword, saber, knife etc.
  • n. A swift striking movement.
  • n. The symbol /. Also sometimes known as a forward slash, particularly in computing.
  • n. A pee, a trip to the toilet to urinate
  • n. Short for slash fiction.
  • n. The female genitalia
  • n. A quick and hard lateral strike with a hockey stick, usually across the arms or legs.
  • n. swampy or wet lands overgrown with bushes
  • v. To cut across something with a blade such as knife, sword, scythe etc.
  • v. to strike laterally with a hockey stick. usually across the legs or arms
  • v. to reduce sharply
  • conj. Used to connect two or more identities in a list.
  • conj. Used to list alternatives.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A long cut; a cut made at random.
  • n. A large slit in the material of any garment, made to show the lining through the openings.
  • n. Swampy or wet lands overgrown with bushes.
  • n. A opening or gap in a forest made by wind, fire, or other destructive agency.
  • intransitive v. To strike violently and at random, esp. with an edged instrument; to lay about one indiscriminately with blows; to cut hastily and carelessly.
  • transitive v. To cut by striking violently and at random; to cut in long slits.
  • transitive v. To lash; to ply the whip to.
  • transitive v. To crack or snap, as a whip.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cut with long incisions; gash; slit; slice.
  • To cut with a violent sweep; cut by striking violently and at random, as with a sword or an ax.
  • To ornament, as a garment, by cutting slits in the cloth, and arranging lining of brilliant colors to be seen underneath.
  • To lash.
  • To crack or snap, as a whip.
  • To strike violently and at random with a cutting instrument; lay about one with sharp blows.
  • To cut or move rapidly.
  • To work in wet.
  • n. A cut; a gash; a slit.
  • n. A random, sweeping cut at something with an edged instrument, as a sword or an ax, or with a whip or switch.
  • n. A slit cut in the stuff from which a garment is made, intended to show a different and usually bright-colored material underneath.
  • n. Hence A piece of tape or worsted lace placed on the sleeves of non-commissioned officers to distinguish them from privates; a stripe.
  • n. A clearing in a wood; any gap or opening in a wood, whether caused by the operations of woodmen or by wind or fire. Compare slashing, 2.
  • n. plural Same as slashing, 3.
  • n. A wet or swampy place overgrown with bushes: often in the plural.
  • n. A mass of coal which has been crushed and shattered by a movement of the earth's crust.
  • n. A great quantity of broth or similar food.
  • n. A wet or marshy linear depression between nearly parallel ridges of dunes on a sand-reef. See the extract.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a punctuation mark (/) used to separate related items of information
  • v. move or stir about violently
  • v. cut with sweeping strokes; as with an ax or machete
  • v. cut open
  • v. cut drastically
  • n. a strong sweeping cut made with a sharp instrument
  • v. beat severely with a whip or rod
  • n. a wound made by cutting
  • n. an open tract of land in a forest that is strewn with debris from logging (or fire or wind)


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

Perhaps from obsolete French esclachier, to break, variant of esclater, from Old French, from esclat, splinter; see slat.


  • I don’t ever remember reading about pliers or vomit in a Penthouse Letters column, but I’ve seen plenty of “hurt/comfort”? slash some people claim that term is where ’slash’ comes from.

    Meth-fueled prostitution in the Rockies

  • I don’t ever remember reading about pliers or vomit in a Penthouse Letters column, but I’ve seen plenty of “hurt/comfort” slash some people claim that term is where ’slash’ comes from.

    Meth-fueled prostitution in the Rockies

  • There was a time when the term slash and burn brought to mind a form of shifting cultivation practised from ancient times.

    The Hindu - Front Page

  • The term slash comes from the way those stories were labeled with a slash (K/S) instead of an ampersand.

    Chicago Reader

  • Senator Obama has been saying that it's his opponent who is guilty of what he calls slash and burn tactics and both of the candidates are unveiling negative ads in these final days before Tuesday's primary.

    CNN Transcript Apr 20, 2008

  • He is saying that Senator Clinton is really going at him with what he calls slash-and-burn politics, saying that she's throwing everything and the kitchen sink at him, saying that that is distracting from debating the real issues.

    CNN Transcript Apr 20, 2008

  • Obama had denounced what he called slash and burn politics just last Sunday.

    CNN Transcript Feb 22, 2007

  • Personally, I've never been much into slash simply because I'm usually not into any pairing that's not canon (which says a lot about mainstream media and brings up the question of how exactly to define 'slash', but anyway), so I can't say much about that sort of trend in slash in general.

    Supernatural Fic Rec

  • Some of the sites, of course, contain slash fiction.

    Add two more names to the list of gay superheroes | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

  • … I call Rule 34 on Yglesias/Klein slash fiction. mofo says:

    Matthew Yglesias » Valentine’s Day


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  • In 'text speak' Slash is used to change the topic. As seen on a ted talk.

    April 29, 2013

  • You're missing the usage among fanfiction writers. "Slash" there denotes the category of fanfic that brings characters together as lovers -- common pairings are Snape and Harry in Harry Potter fanfic, Kirk and Spock in Star Trek fanfic, Sheppard and McKay in Stargate: Atlantis fanfic. The term derives, I believe, from the typographical / -- people often write "Snape/Harry" or "K/S," for example.

    Slash in this sense is also a verb (to slash Characters A and B). And it appears in compounds such as femslash (slash fic that pairs women; the "default" of slash is male/male pairings).

    June 8, 2009

  • Also, slang for the act of urination. E.g.

    "Hey mate, watch my pint while I go for a slash", or

    "Where's Jonny?" "Dunno. Hang on, he's round the corner there having a slash."

    February 27, 2008

  • A nerdy way of saying "or", as in "We will be ordering beef slash chicken."

    February 27, 2008