Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To cut or form by cutting with forceful sweeping strokes.
  • intransitive verb To make a gash or gashes in.
  • intransitive verb To cut a slit or slits in, especially so as to reveal an underlying color.
  • intransitive verb Sports To swing a stick at (an opponent) in ice hockey or lacrosse, in violation of the rules.
  • intransitive verb To criticize sharply.
  • intransitive verb Sports To hit or propel (a ball, for instance) forcefully in a straight line.
  • intransitive verb To reduce or curtail drastically.
  • intransitive verb To make forceful sweeping strokes with a sharp instrument.
  • intransitive verb To cut one's way with such strokes.
  • intransitive verb To make drastic reductions in something.
  • noun A forceful sweeping stroke that is made with a sharp instrument.
  • noun A long cut or other opening made by such a stroke; a gash or slit.
  • noun A decorative slit in a fabric or garment.
  • noun A diagonal mark ( / ) that is used especially to separate alternatives, as in and/or, to represent the word per, as in miles/hour, to separate component parts of a URL, as in whitehouse.gov/kids/patriotism/, and to indicate the ends of verse lines printed continuously, as in Old King Cole / Was a merry old soul.
  • noun Branches and other residue left on a forest floor after the cutting of timber.
  • noun Wet or swampy ground overgrown with bushes and trees.
  • noun A genre of fanfic depicting romantic relationships between characters, usually of the same sex, that are not romantically connected in the original work or works upon which the fanfic is based.
  • conjunction As well as; and. Used in combination and often rendered as a virgule in print.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun A great quantity of broth or similar food.
  • noun A wet or marshy linear depression between nearly parallel ridges of dunes on a sand-reef. See the extract.
  • noun A cut; a gash; a slit.
  • noun A random, sweeping cut at something with an edged instrument, as a sword or an ax, or with a whip or switch.
  • noun A slit cut in the stuff from which a garment is made, intended to show a different and usually bright-colored material underneath.
  • noun Hence A piece of tape or worsted lace placed on the sleeves of non-commissioned officers to distinguish them from privates; a stripe.
  • noun 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.
  • noun plural Same as slashing, 3.
  • noun A wet or swampy place overgrown with bushes: often in the plural.
  • noun A mass of coal which has been crushed and shattered by a movement of the earth's crust.
  • To work in wet.

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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A swift cut with a blade, particularly with fighting weapons as a sword, saber, knife etc.
  • noun A swift striking movement.
  • noun The symbol /. Also sometimes known as a forward slash, particularly in computing.

Etymologies

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.]

Examples

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Comments

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

    February 27, 2008

  • 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

  • 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

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

    http://www.ted.com/talks/john_mcwhorter_txtng_is_killing_language_jk.html

    April 29, 2013