See also: šlink
From Middle English slynken, sclynken, from Old English slincan (“to creep; crawl”), from Proto-Germanic *slinkaną (“to creep; crawl”), from Proto-Indo-European *sleng-, *slenk- (“to turn; wind; twist”), from Proto-Indo-European *sel- (“to sneak; crawl”). Cognate with West Frisian slinke, Dutch slinken (“to shrink; shrivel”), Low German slinken, Swedish slinka (“to glide”). Compare also German schleichen (“to slink”). More at sleek.
slink (third-person singular simple present slinks, present participle slinking, simple past and past participle slunk or slinked or (uncommon) slank)
- (intransitive) To sneak about furtively.
- c. 1605–1608, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Tymon of Athens”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene ii]:
- As we do turn our backs
From our companion thrown into his grave,
So his familiars to his buried fortunes
Slink all away, leave their false vows with him,
Like empty purses pick’d; and his poor self,
A dedicated beggar to the air,
With his disease of all-shunn’d poverty,
Walks, like contempt, alone.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book IX”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, →OCLC:
- Back to the thicket slunk the guilty serpent.
- 1842, Robert Browning, Waring:
- The leaving us was just a feint; / Back here to London did he slink, / And now works on without a wink / Of sleep, and we are on the brink
- 1874, Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd. […], volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Smith, Elder & Co., […], →OCLC:
- Joseph Poorgrass, in the background, twitched, and his lips became dry with fear of some terrible consequences as he saw Bathsheba summarily speaking, and Henery slinking off to a corner.
- 1895–1897, H[erbert] G[eorge] Wells, “The Stillness”, in The War of the Worlds, London: William Heinemann, published 1898, →OCLC, book II (The Earth under the Martians), page 239:
- Far away I saw a gaunt cat slink crouchingly along a wall, but traces of men there were none.
- 1922, Michael Arlen, “3/1/1”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days:
- How meek and shrunken did that haughty Tarmac become as it slunk by the wide circle of asphalt of the yellow sort, that was loosely strewn before the great iron gates of Lady Hall as a forerunner of the consideration that awaited the guests of Rupert, Earl of Kare, […] .
- 2013 November, Glenn Thrush, “Locked in the Cabinet”, in POLITICO:
- Earnest slunk backstage.
- 2020 December 2, Paul Bigland, “My weirdest and wackiest Rover yet”, in Rail, page 67:
- I have arrived to catch the 0830 TfW service to Crewe, worked by a tatty and unrefurbished 175114. As if ashamed of its appearance, it slinks into Platform 2 (instead of Platform 1, where it was expected). No announcement had been made, and we leave without any fanfare.
- (transitive, intransitive) To give birth to an animal prematurely.
- a cow that slinks her calf
sneak about furtively
slink (countable and uncountable, plural slinks)
- (countable) A furtive sneaking motion.
- 1998, Beppie Noyes, Mosby, the Kennedy Center Cat, page 30:
- His slink became a stride; he held his tail high; his eyes began to look more curious than scared. But he was still cautious.
- The young of an animal when born prematurely, especially a calf.
- The meat of such a prematurely born animal.
- 1868, Charles Alexander Cameron, The Stock-Feeder's Manual:
- It is an ascertained fact that young or “slink” veal very frequently gives rise to diarrhœa, more especially when that disease is epidemic.
- (obsolete) A bastard child, one born out of wedlock.
- (UK, Scotland, dialect) A thievish fellow; a sneak.
the young of an animal when born prematurely
slink (comparative more slink, superlative most slink)
- slunk_VERB, slinked_VERB, slank_VERB at Google Ngram Viewer
- imperative of slinka.