From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle English slime, slyme, slim, slym, from Old English slīm, from Proto-Germanic *slīmą, from Proto-Indo-European *sley- (smooth; slick; sticky; slimy). Cognates include Danish slim, Saterland Frisian Sliem, Dutch slijm, German Schleim (mucus, slime), Latin limus (mud), Ancient Greek λίμνη (límnē, marsh).


  • enPR: slīm, IPA(key): /slaɪm/
  • Rhymes: -aɪm
  • (file)


slime (countable and uncountable, plural slimes)

  1. Soft, moist earth or clay, having an adhesive quality; viscous mud; any substance of a dirty nature, that is moist, soft, and adhesive; bitumen; mud containing metallic ore, obtained in the preparatory dressing.
  2. Any mucilaginous substance; or a mucus-like substance which exudes from the bodies of certain animals, such as snails or slugs.
    • 1680, T. K., The Kitchin-Phyſician; Or, a Guide for Good-Housewives in Maintaining Their Families in Health. [] [1], How to cleanſe the Teeth, and keep them ſound, page 44:
      You ſhould rub your Teeth and whole Mouth and Gums, the Pallate and Tongue, with a clean courſe cloth, rubbing off the ſlime which groweth upon them in the night.
  3. Synonym of flubber (kind of rubbery polymer)
    Hyponyms: butter slime, cloud slime
  4. (informal, derogatory) A sneaky, unethical person; a slimeball.
    • 1980, Richard Louis Newmann, Siege of Orbitor, page xvii. 78:
      "What about that, you slime?"
    • 2005, G. E. Nordell, Backlot Requiem: A Rick Walker Mystery:
      If this guy knows who killed Robert, the right thing to do is to tell the police. If he doesn't know, really, then he's an opportunistic slime. It's still blackmail.
  5. (fantasy, video games) A monster having the form of a slimy blob.
    • 2006, Lawrence Wright, Character Design for Mobile Devices[2], Gulf Professional Publishing, →ISBN, page 8:
      This is a nameless blue slime, drawn by Chris Hildenbrand, for a role playing game (RPG) that was never released.
  6. (figuratively, obsolete) Human flesh, seen disparagingly; mere human form.
  7. (obsolete) Jew’s slime (bitumen).
  8. (African-American Vernacular, MTE, slang) A friend; a homie.


  • (any substance of a dirty nature): sludge

Derived terms[edit]


  • French: slime
  • Japanese: スライム (suraimu)



slime (third-person singular simple present slimes, present participle sliming, simple past and past participle slimed)

  1. (transitive) To coat with slime.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 7, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
      ‘Children crawled over each other like little grey worms in the gutters,’ he said. ‘The only red things about them were their buttocks and they were raw. Their faces looked as if snails had slimed on them and their mothers were like great sick beasts whose byres had never been cleared. []
  2. (transitive, figuratively) To besmirch or disparage.
  3. To carve (fish), removing the offal.
    • 1999, Dana Stabenow, So Sure of Death, page 20:
      If so, this job was better than sliming salmon any day.
    • 2013, William B. McCloskey, Raiders: A Novel, →ISBN:
      You and me bunked in that dorm on the hill, remember? And slimed fish under that tin roof down there.
  4. (intransitive, often figurative) To move like slime, like slimy things or like a slimy person.