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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. Activists 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 ?
CSIRO said Guidelines for Evaluating Water in Pit Slope Stability offers slope design practitioners "a road map that will help them decide how to investigate and treat water pressures in pit slopes.
The SSPC system was designed by Hack (1998) specifically for slopes to classify rock masses and assess the in situ stability and probability of failure of an engineered slope constructed in that rock mass.
South-facing slopes tend to be hot and dry, while north slopes are cooler and a bit moist.
Jasna, the popular ski resort where World Championship races in Alpine Skiing have taken place, will add a new slope to its already expansive network of trails.
In terms of slope geometry, reference [5] stated that 30Adeg to 45Adeg of internal friction angle is frequently prescribed for construction of clayey soil slopes, but to achieve stability, slope angle should be less than 20Adeg.
Identify, map and rank slopes vulnerable to slides that could affect the state trunk highway network.
The settlement plateau measured in about seven months of slope observations has indicated that no hard measures for slope stability are required except draining the slopes of the hill after proper hydrological and drainage studies and growing vegetation on upslope as well as downslope areas, for increased stability in the long-term.
KFAR DEBIAN, Lebanon: If one of your New Year's resolutions is to get in shape, head to the hills for some skiing or snowboarding at the Mzaar Kfar Debian ski resort, which has just opened nine of their slopes this weekend.
The most common approach is Newmark's [6] sliding block method, which calculates the cumulative displacement of slopes by integrating earthquake acceleration in a one-block translational mechanism.
Numerous methods are available for assessing the stability of slopes as reported by (Hoek and Bray 1981; Park and West 2001; Wyllie and Mah 2004).
Slopes that are convex (slopes tend to increase downslope) are more erosive than concave slopes (slopes tend to decrease downslope).
The robustness and power of 9 strategies for testing the differences in groups' regression slopes were assessed under nonnormality and residual variance heterogeneity.
Maintaining slopes and restoring slopes, embankments, and roads after roek- and landslides is a major challenge with considerable impacts on State and Federal maintenance budgets.