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 However, this can turn send us down a slippery slope. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 19 Jan. 2024 And is that a step down a slippery slope that leads to restrictions that many people would not want on free speech? Molly Fischer, The New Yorker, 17 Dec. 2023 The 10 coaches on this list are not only riding a slippery slope with their fans, but if their respective teams’ on-field performances start to slip, buyout clauses will be enacted and their programs will have a new leader next season. Scooby Axson, USA TODAY, 22 Aug. 2023 That’s a slippery slope…we’re actors, we are supposed to act. Zack Sharf, Variety, 18 Oct. 2023 The greater fear by those who know better is how far will this slippery slope go? Annika Erikson, Rolling Stone, 4 Oct. 2023 This is also a slippery slope, gun control advocates say: peace through strength of force – a private arms race. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Nov. 2023 Who says that the House overruling, the House parliamentarian his argument is, is a slippery slope. ABC News, 22 Oct. 2023 And sure, to decide which form of violence is acceptable and which is not constitutes sliding along the proverbial slippery slope. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 13 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'slippery slope.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1951, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of slippery slope was in 1951

Dictionary Entries Near slippery slope

Cite this Entry

“Slippery slope.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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