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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 ?
Sloper is very pedantic and careful; he seeks to remain fair in all situations and to avoid severity.
I guess to be frank the gamble lies on my shoulders financially," Sloper said.
Sloper believes Morris is courting Catherine only to get her inheritance and threatens to disinherit her if she marries him.
A FUNNY Folks which appeared in 1874 was the first British comic and the first comic strip hero was Mr Ally Sloper and his oddly-titled Ally Sloper's Half-Holiday which ran from 1884 to 1916.
A Martell Grand National win would be even more sensational, as you have to go back to Ally Sloper in 1915, to trace a winning six-year-old.
Sloper grieves his wife's long-ago passing and privately complains that his daughter lacks her mother's grace and beauty.
Changes can be made to the software and maintenance can be carried out without delays," explained Phil Sloper, national practice manager for knowledge management, CSC.
Brian Edwards, dealer principal at the retailer on Sloper Road, comments: "The Vauxhall Free Fuel event will come as welcome news to motorists looking for a new vehicle this spring.
Barry Keane plays the part of wealthy widowed surgeon Dr Austin Sloper.
The air on Sloper Road was bitter, but perhaps not quite as bitter as the atmosphere in the Cardiff City boardroom the evening before.
Ally Sloper, right, of Ally Sloper's Half-Holiday (1884) was our first comic strip hero.
Period drama with Jennifer Jason Leigh as New Yorker Catherine Sloper, repeatedly told by her father Dr Sloper (Albert Finney) that she's the plainest of plain Janes.
Photo: The awkward, well-to-do Catherine Sloper (Cherry Jones) is courted by Morris Townsend (Michael Cumpsty) in the Tony Award-winning ``The Heiress,'' now at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.
But during the planning process, concerns were raised by Glamorgan Archives about parking and the access road and councillors and the council's parks department who have concerns about drainage from the site affecting the neighbouring Sloper Road allotments.
Liz Sloper also helps and one child said: "She lets me go on Word Shack and has helped me be a better reader.