slippery slope


Definition of slippery slope 

: a course of action that seems to lead inevitably from one action or result to another with unintended consequences

Examples of slippery slope in a Sentence

His behavior will lead him down a slippery slope to ruin.

Recent Examples on the Web

But what's happening now is quickly sliding down a slippery slope toward harassment, denial of service and abusive behavior. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "Targeting Trump aides: The politics of rage is out of control," 26 June 2018 His argument is one that’s been used by many religious leaders, who say that the measure would simply be a slippery slope to the proliferation of recreational marijuana. Li Zhou, Vox, "Oklahoma primary election 2018 live results: governor and medical marijuana ballot measure," 26 June 2018 This, too, is part of the slippery slope of getting in bed with the gambling aspect. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Would Adam Silver's 'integrity fee' have revealed LeBron's injury?," 11 June 2018 Another worried about a slippery slope that would lead to 14-year-olds selecting lawmakers. NBC News, "Washington, D.C., may let 16-year-olds vote for president. Is that a good idea?," 17 Apr. 2018 Israel has always been just a bit farther down this slippery slope than the United States. Kenneth M. Pollack, New York Times, "Learning From Israel’s Political Assassination Program," 7 Mar. 2018 Even in zero-g, all slippery slopes lead only downward. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Why Trump's 'Space Force' Won't — and Shouldn't — Happen," 19 June 2018 The fear of slippery slopes, along with valid concerns about administrative convenience, may cause some private university presidents to adopt a First Amendment-like free speech policy. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Why let the Klan march at a private historically black college? ‘This is not a First Amendment thing, man.’," 31 May 2018 And while a correlation between body weight and speed exists, Nickols warns that this can be a slippery slope toward an eating disorder, and that any improvements in time, however brief, can negatively reinforce destructive behaviors. Kelyn Soong,, "Runners spread awarness about eating disorders in their sport," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slippery slope.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of slippery slope

1951, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for slippery slope

The first known use of slippery slope was in 1951

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More Definitions for slippery slope

slippery slope


English Language Learners Definition of slippery slope

: a process or series of events that is hard to stop or control once it has begun and that usually leads to worse or more difficult things

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a private place of worship

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