AskDefine | Define backslide

Dictionary Definition

backslide v : drop to a lower level, as in one's morals or standards [syn: lapse] [also: backslidden, backslid]

User Contributed Dictionary



From back + slide


  1. To regress; to slip backwards or revert to a previous, worse state.
    He felt better for a little while, before his condition started to backslide.
  2. To shirk responsibility; to renege on one's obligations or commitments.
    Rich countries are backsliding on their commitment to agree to new WTO measures to help people in poor countries gain access to affordable medicines. — Oxfam press release, 24 June 2002

Extensive Definition

Backsliding is a term used within Christianity to describe a process by which an individual who has converted to Christianity reverts to pre-conversion habits and practices. Within churches which teach Arminianism, backsliding is a state in which any free willed being can adopt, which is a doctrine rejected by Calvinists. Historically, backsliding was considered a trait of the biblical Israel which would turn from the abrahamic god to follow idols. In the New Testament church, the story of the Prodigal Son has become a representation of a backslider.

See also

backslide in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Backslide

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

cock, defect, degenerate, desert, err, fall, fall again into, fall astern, fall away, fall back, fall behind, fall from grace, get behind, go astray, go backwards, go behind, go wrong, have a relapse, jerk back, lapse, lapse back, lose ground, pull back, recede, recidivate, recur to, regress, relapse, retrocede, retroflex, retrograde, retrogress, retrovert, return, return to, reverse, revert, revert to, sink back, slide back, slip, slip back, tergiversate, trip, turn, yield again to
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