a slippery slope

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

slippery slope, a

A dangerous path or situation leading to disaster. Alluding to a path down which one could slide to a bad fall, this figure of speech dates from the mid-1900s. The Daily Telegraph of January 6, 1964 stated, “While Western feet thus approach what some fear may be a slippery slope towards recognition of the East, Ulbricht’s ground seems as firm as ever it was.” In a New Yorker piece about writers chronicling Sherlock Holmes, one of them is quoted as saying, “I’ve now done . . . more than fifteen hundred pages and I’ve only gotten up to 1950. It’s been a slippery slope into madness and obsession” (Dec. 13, 2004).
See also: slippery
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
SEAMUS COLEMAN is relieved to see his old club Sligo Rovers wriggle free of 'a slippery slope'.
Fanning the flames, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said that "Kyprianou knows the path of a slippery slope all too well: it is the one he follows every day when he blames the president of the Republic and the Greek Cypriot side without caring if in this way he provides an excuse for the Turkish attack on our country."
The Pakistani envoy said it is a slippery slope when Muslims are stereotyped and mischaracterized, sometimes deliberately by those who engage in hate speech.
The ABI's Mark Shepherd says: "Without the right cover, consumers could be on a slippery slope to a major financial headache."
None of these more plausible drivers, however, possess the tremendous energy of the (implausible) Conspiracy driver to propel firearm regulation policy down a slippery slope to confiscation.
Consequently, the diminishment or repeal of existing restrictions is not recognized as a slippery slope. Rather, it's seen simply as more fully implementing respect for individual autonomy and the right to self-determination-the rationale used to justify euthanasia in the first place.
Nothing conquers a slippery slope like a good twitch of the tail, say researchers exploring how vertebrates could have taken the first treacherous steps on land.
Any move to give the Welsh Government more powers must be agreed in a referendum and those who fear it's a slippery slope can always vote against.
"Beauty over 40 is a slippery slope, but the life experience and knowledge we gain can make us sexier with age," the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.
The Hills chief executive wrote: "The idea that a licensed bookmaker could consider treating high street and online UK customers differently isn't just a slippery slope, it's positively precipitous.
He said: "We are on a slippery slope. That wasn't us out there and we are disappointed.
Call Nick Lavigueur on 01484 437714 or email nick@examiner.co.uk THIS week the Examiner paparazzo was out and about on the streets of Huddersfield calling at The Barking Spider START THE NIGHT AT THE SPIDER: Ramona and Charlie (zyhud050810Barking-5) IT'S A SLIPPERY SLOPE: Lee, Kieran, Gary and Mark (zyhud050810Barking-13)
Cheryl agreeing to meet Ashley - the start of a slippery slope...
My concern is that this is a slippery slope which will see people forced to stay in work for financial reasons.
IT looks very much like Amy Winehouse is on a slippery slope to oblivion, to judge by all the latest photographs of her.