slippery slope


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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

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

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 ?
Giving him a 32-week suspended sentence, Judge Christopher Vosper QC warned: "You are heading down a slippery slope.
At the time, opponents of the technology argued that in vitro fertilization (IVF) would take us on a slippery slope to more dangerous manipulations of human beings, with ever-graver moral implications.
The Roman Stoic philosopher and playwright Lucius Annaeus Seneca expressed the principle most dramatically in his tragedies, creating characters who, once they succumbed to irrational thinking, descended headlong, like Shakespeare's King Lear, down the slippery slope to madness.
Barthez's errors may have put him on a slippery slope with Sir Alex Ferguson but he may have handed himself an additional contract.
Watch out, warns George Will: You just might "put us on a slippery slope to the abolition of humanity.
He then had several successful seasons with Nottingham Forest before the slippery slope started at Liverpool, then Aston Villa, Leicester and finally Bradford.
For the good of our souls we were cautioned to steer clear of those slippery slope situations where temptation could take hold and lure us into behavior we otherwise might not pursue.
The slippery slope of journalism is trying to determine just the right set of words for sex acts that should not be connected to the business of the nation.
Once it becomes socially acceptable to evade taxes, we're on a slippery slope," he said.
By the third quarter, D&O premium decreases overwhelmed increases and the line joined property and general liability on the slippery slope down," said Mr.
IT WILL be a slippery slope to success for Birmingham schoolchildren as a major skiing race returns to the city.
I can understand how you would miss a test but having missed one then you are already on a slippery slope.
I think we are well on the way down a slippery slope if Dein's Red and White partnership becomes the new face of Arsenal.
Wasn't this supposed to be a step back to the good old days, before ``hardship'' cases and that whole slippery slope, before the concept of the Student-Athlete gave way to the Pro Athlete in Training?
Another Roman spokesman, Bishop Elio Sgreccia, vice-president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, also saw a verification of the slippery slope argument (Osservatore Romano, Sept.