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a plank, bar, log, or the like, especially one of a pair, on which something heavy may be slid or rolled along.
one of a number of such logs or timbers forming a skidway.
a low mobile platform on which goods are placed for ease in handling, moving, etc.
Compare .
a plank, log, low platform, etc., on or by which a load is supported.

any of a number of parallel beams or timbers fixed in place as a raised support for boats, spars, etc.
any of a number of timbers on which a heavy object is placed to be shoved along on rollers or slid.
an arrangement of planks serving as a runway for cargo.
an arrangement of planks serving as a fender to protect the side of a vessel during transfer of cargo.
sidewise motion of a vessel; leeway.

a shoe or some other choke or drag for preventing the wheel of a vehicle from rotating, as when descending a hill.
a runner on the under part of some airplanes, enabling the aircraft to slide along the ground when landing.
an unexpected or uncontrollable sliding on a smooth surface by something not rotating, especially an oblique or wavering veering by a vehicle or its tires:
The bus went into a skid on the icy road.
to place on or slide along a skid.
to check the motion of with a skid:
She skidded her skates to a stop.
to cause to go into a skid:
to skid the car into a turn.
to slide along without rotating, as a wheel to which a brake has been applied.
to slip or slide sideways, as an automobile in turning a corner rapidly.
to slide forward under the force of momentum after forward motion has been braked, as a vehicle.
(of an airplane when not banked sufficiently) to slide sideways, away from the center of the curve described in turning.
Compare 1 (def 15).
on the skids, Slang. in the process of decline or deterioration:
His career is on the skids.
put the skids under, Informal. to bring about the downfall of; cause to fail:
Lack of money put the skids under our plans.
the skids, Informal. the downward path to ruin, poverty, or depravity:
After losing his job he began to hit the skids.
Contemporary Examples

Its origins are on Madison Avenue, that is, not skid Row or even Main Street.
Occupy the RNC? What’s Behind Tampa’s Homemade Signs Blake Gopnik August 29, 2012

Plus, read Chris Lee and Christine Pelisek on how the search for Stahl has turned to skid Row.
The John Connor Curse: Nick Stahl, Edward Furlong and Christian Bale Marlow Stern May 17, 2012

From a stop on skid Row to a night out with Jennifer Lopez, see highlights of their trip.
Will & Kate’s L.A. Adventure Isabel Wilkinson July 10, 2011

The remaining 18 presumably “had contact with the patients in skid Row,” said Fielding.
L.A. Hunts for 300 Missing Tuberculosis Cases Christine Pelisek February 28, 2013

Davidson saw the bloodstained seat of her car and the skid marks where her car had gone off the road.
Bruce Davidson’s True Grit Philip Gefter November 4, 2009

Historical Examples

They’re givin’ a farewell dinner dance for her, and skid is on the list.
Torchy Sewell Ford

The skid at which he had pointed was loaded with cases of M504 submachine guns.
The Cosmic Computer Henry Beam Piper

skid chains tend to keep automobiles from skidding on wet pavement.
Common Science Carleton W. Washburne

Why, man alive, skid’s one of the chaps that’s runnin’ your old gent’s trust.
Torchy Sewell Ford

It is naturally far easiest to make a turn in this way on a hard smooth surface which allows the skis to skid round freely.
How To Ski and How Not To Vivian Caulfeild

verb skids, skidding, skidded
to cause (a vehicle) to slide sideways or (of a vehicle) to slide sideways while in motion, esp out of control
(intransitive) to slide without revolving, as the wheel of a moving vehicle after sudden braking
(transitive) (US & Canadian) to put or haul on a skid, esp along a special track
to cause (an aircraft) to slide sideways away from the centre of a turn when insufficiently banked or (of an aircraft) to slide in this manner
an instance of sliding, esp sideways
(mainly US & Canadian) one of the logs forming a skidway
a support on which heavy objects may be stored and moved short distances by sliding
a shoe or drag used to apply pressure to the metal rim of a wheel to act as a brake
on the skids, in decline or about to fail

c.1600, “beam or plank on which something rests,” especially on which something heavy can be rolled from place to place (1782), of uncertain origin, probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse skið “stick of wood” (see ski (n.)). As “a sliding along” from 1890; specifically of motor vehicles from 1903. Skid-mark is from 1914.

In the timber regions of the American West, skids laid down one after another to form a road were “a poor thing for pleasure walks, but admirably adapted for hauling logs on the ground with a minimum of friction” [“Out West” magazine, October 1903]. A skid as something used to facilitate downhill motion led to figurative phrases such as hit the skids “go into rapid decline” (1909), and cf. skid row.

1670s, “apply a skid to (a wheel, to keep it from turning),” from skid (n.). Meaning “slide along” first recorded 1838; extended sense of “slip sideways” (on a wet road, etc.) first recorded 1884. The original notion is of a block of wood for stopping a wheel; the modern senses are from the notion of a wheel slipping when blocked from revolving.

noun phrase

A person who frequents ski resorts habitually, often doing casual jobs, for the sake of skiing (1960+)
In addition to the idiom beginning with
also see:

on the skids
put the skids on
put the skids under


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