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slippery slope

A situation in which some behavior or action will eventually lead to a worse form of the same behavior or action, or a disastrous outcome. Eating that piece of cake is a slippery slope that could lead to you completely abandoning your diet. Verbal abuse is often a slippery slope that leads to physical abuse.
See also: slippery, slope

on a slippery slope

In a situation in which some behavior or action will eventually lead to a worse form of the same behavior or action. We've been on a slippery slope of borrowing more money to pay off the debts we already owe. Advocates fear that this latest legislation will put us on a slippery slope to stifling free speech.
See also: on, slippery, slope

slippery slope

a dangerous pathway or route to follow; a route that leads to trouble. The matter of euthanasia is a slippery slope with both legal and moral considerations.
See also: slippery, slope

slope away from something

to slant downward and away from something. The lawn sloped away from the patio toward the riverbank. The porch sloped away from the house at a very slight angle.
See also: away, slope

slope down (to something or some place)

to slant downward toward something or some place from a higher level. The wide white beach sloped down to the azure water. The yard sloped down, making a lovely view from the living room.
See also: down, slope

slope (down) toward something

to slant downward toward something. The backyard slopes down toward the river. It slopes toward the water.
See also: slope, toward

slope up (to something)

to slant upward in the direction of something. The ramp sloped up to the door, allowing wheelchairs to enter. It sloped up rather steeply.
See also: slope, up

slippery slope

A dangerous course, one that leads easily to catastrophe, as in He's on a slippery slope, compromising his values to please both the bosses and the union . This metaphoric expression alludes to traversing a slick hillside, in constant danger of falling. [Mid-1900s]
See also: slippery, slope

a slippery slope

COMMON A slippery slope is a course of action which is likely to lead to failure or serious trouble. It's a slippery slope. You give in to one demand and soon find that you're doing exactly what they want. The company started down the slippery slope of believing that they knew better than the customer, with the inevitable disastrous results. Note: You can also say that someone is on a slippery slope or on the slippery slope. These young people may already be on the slippery slope to criminality.
See also: slippery, slope

slippery slope

an idea or course of action which will lead inevitably to something unacceptable, wrong, or disastrous.
1998 Spectator Those of us who feared that devolution would not assuage nationalist sentiment but turn out to be the slippery slope to separatism have a good chance of being proved right.
See also: slippery, slope

the slippery ˈslope

a situation or way of behaving that could quickly lead to danger, disaster, failure, etc: Starting with shoplifting, he was soon on the slippery slope towards a life of crime.
See also: slippery, slope
References in periodicals archive ?
Beneath a stadium-size dome spins a 50-meter-wide snow-covered disk tilted at an angle to create a sloped surface.
Local knowledge can be as important when it comes to putting, as visitors will learn quickly if they get above the flagstick on the severely sloped 18th green.
The lamp socket and trim can also be adjusted 20[degrees] laterally for compound sloped ceiling or to compensate for off-axis aiming.
A negatively sloped curve is as likely as a positively slope one.
Trees are planted at the lower edge of the sloped terraces, where the runoff accumulates.
Open Energy's SolarSave[R] Roofing Membranes are a building-integrated solar roofing system created for both new construction and re-roofing projects on commercial, industrial and residential buildings with flat to low sloped roofs.
Attempt to cut the corner on this hole - rated third-toughest on the course - and you risk being blocked out by a hillside or facing a severely sloped uphill, sidehill lie.
A steeply sloped sandpile represents a precarious balance between the friction keeping individual grains in place and the inexorable downward pull of gravity.
17 and a difficult, 179-yard challenge to a severely sloped green at No.
Such distortion occurs when the angle of the detector (relative to the vertical) is less than or equal to the incline of the steeply sloped area.
13: A mid-fairway oak tree starts the confidence-sapping process furthered by two deep bunkers, a steeply sloped green and frequent wind on this 205-yard hole in Pasadena.
7: Dogleg-left 377-yarder wraps around a lake and is further defended by rightside OB, often stiff winds and a large sloped green.
Rose's lone bogey came on the uphill 13th, a narrow 205-yarder that underscores the difficulty of San Clemente's par-3 holes, which play 173, 196 and 145 yards - the latter to a large, sloped green.