v. slashed, slash·ing, slash·es
a. To cut or form by cutting with forceful sweeping strokes: slash a path through the underbrush.
b. To make a gash or gashes in.
c. To cut a slit or slits in, especially so as to reveal an underlying color: slash a sleeve.
2. Sports To swing a stick at (an opponent) in ice hockey or lacrosse, in violation of the rules.
3. To criticize sharply: The reviewers slashed the composer's work.
4. Sports To hit or propel (a ball, for instance) forcefully in a straight line.
5. To reduce or curtail drastically: slash prices for a clearance sale.
1. To make forceful sweeping strokes with a sharp instrument.
2. To cut one's way with such strokes: We slashed through the dense jungle.
3. To make drastic reductions in something: slashing away at the budget.
a. A forceful sweeping stroke that is made with a sharp instrument.
b. A long cut or other opening made by such a stroke; a gash or slit.
c. A decorative slit in a fabric or garment.
2. 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. Also called virgule.
a. Branches and other residue left on a forest floor after the cutting of timber.
b. often slashes Wet or swampy ground overgrown with bushes and trees.
4. 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.
As well as; and. Used as a representation of the virgule (as in restaurant/art gallery or actor/director), often styled with hyphens in print: a restaurant slash art gallery; an actor-slash-director.
[Perhaps from obsolete French esclachier, to break, variant of esclater, from Old French, from esclat, splinter; see SLAT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.