I tried my best to dodge trees and rocks as I [...] down the slope.

What's the best fit for the sentence above?

  • 4
    As I hurtled down the slope. – Manish Giri Sep 15 '14 at 3:57
  • 1
    For clarification- Are you in (e.g. a car) or on something (e.g., a sled, bicycle) or on foot? – Jim Sep 15 '14 at 4:51
  • If you are even trying to dodge trees and rocks, is it true to say you are out of control? – Roaring Fish Sep 15 '14 at 4:55
  • @RoaringFish - You can be under the illusion or delusion of having control even when you don't actually have any. – Erik Kowal Sep 15 '14 at 5:29
  • I think this individual descending the slope would realise he had no control when he slammed into the first tree and came to a dead stop, if not before. People generally know if they have no control. If I am sliding down a 45 degree ice slope, I know I have no control and saying "I tried to dodge stuff" would be a sentence with no truth in it. If I have gone off the road in my car and I am descending a slope, I can - assuming brakes and steering still work - affect the outcome and then "I tried to dodge stuff" makes sense. Assuming people are delusional is quite a stretch. – Roaring Fish Sep 15 '14 at 5:47

I tried my best to dodge trees and rocks as I careened down the slope.

to sway from side to side : lurch < a careening carriage being pulled wildly … by a team of runaway horses — J. P. Getty > -- Merriam Webster

to lurch or swerve while in motion -- The Free Dictionary

Here's almost your exact usage: Cemetery Murders: A Mystery

  • 1
    Or the standard British English version, careered. – Erik Kowal Sep 15 '14 at 4:53

The possible answers depend on whether the speaker's descent was voluntary. If it was, then launched myself, threw myself, hurled myself, propelled myself, dived, plunged and plummeted are all viable candidates.

  • @medica - Thanks for the upvote. However, the credit belongs to Brasshat, who edited my answer to include plummeted. – Erik Kowal Sep 15 '14 at 6:54

Since you're looking for a word that describes descending out of control, I suggest hurtled.

Per Merriam-Webster:

hur·tle verb

: to move or fall with great speed and force

: to cause (something or someone) to move or go with great speed and force

Examples of HURTLE:

  • Boulders hurtled down the hill.
  • We kept to the side of the road as cars and trucks hurtled past us.
  • The protesters hurtled bottles at the police.

Also, from Oxford Dictionaries:


Move or cause to move at a great speed, typically in a wildly uncontrolled manner:

  • 1
    hurtle doesn't really suggest "out of control" all by itself. Those cars and trucks hurtling past were probably being driven quite nicely. Also I think you don't want to hurtle bottles you want to "hurl" them. Well, I guess I stand corrected, the dictionary does define hurtle as to hurl or fling- I never used it that way before. – Jim Sep 15 '14 at 4:12
  • @Jim - But the verb isn't being used all by itself. It's being applied in a context in which there can be no doubt that the speaker has very little control over their own trajectory. Consider also the example usages at oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/hurtle, which show the verb hurtle being used both transitively and intransitively, including in contexts that clearly indicate that the hurtled or hurtling objects are moving uncontrollably. – Erik Kowal Sep 15 '14 at 4:45

I tried my best to dodge trees and rocks as I tumbled down the slope.

Merriam-Webster defines tumble as:

to fall suddenly and helplessly

Note that helplessly means "not able to be controlled" (i.e. "out of control").

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