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

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, 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
References in periodicals archive ?
The ABI's Mark Shepherd says: "Without the right cover, consumers could be on a slippery slope to a major financial headache.
Consequently, the diminishment or repeal of existing restrictions is not recognized as a slippery slope.
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.
THERE will always be those who fear that any increase in the powers of the Welsh Government and the National Assembly amounts to a slippery slope.
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.
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.
Colin, RugbyOn a slippery slope Alastair Down's fear that racing may be dumbed down in order to attract a wider audience is a near certainty in my view.
IT looks very much like Amy Winehouse is on a slippery slope to oblivion, to judge by all the latest photographs of her.
Once again, we would like to caution European decision makers: adopting broad regulations to ban products from a responsible, sustainable and well-regulated hunt is a slippery slope," warned Canadian Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn, who maintains that seal hunt in Canada is carried out without cruelty.
Firstly, it might revive the 'slippery slope' argument, according to which if you give the Assembly greater powers, you are inevitably on a slippery slope to independence.
But critics of the new CDC initiative warn that, when handled poorly, it's a slippery slope from "targeted prevention" to the sort of plain scapegoating those laws represent.
But it's a slippery slope because once a CEO accepts the argument that he or she has a "social responsibility," the activists will argue that the elimination of poverty and disease, the dismantling of discrimination and the promotion of religious freedom are the responsibility of the corporation.
The state of separation between church and state in this country is certainly swiftly going down a slippery slope, l commend your efforts to confront the issues in these difficult political times.
It's a slippery slope to intolerance: should we want just one point of view represented?