1. A thick, sticky, slippery substance.
2. Biology A mucous substance secreted by certain animals, such as catfishes and slugs.
3. Soft moist earth; mud.
4. A slurry containing very fine particulate matter.
5. Vile or disgusting matter.
6. Slang A despicable or repulsive person.
tr.v. slimed, slim·ing, slimes
1. To smear with slime.
2. To remove slime from (fish to be canned, for example).
3. To vilify or malign (someone), especially publicly.
[Middle English, from Old English slīm; see lei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.