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 The graph above shows the slippery slope of leaders who are poor role models. Joseph Folkman, Forbes, "How To Spot And Eliminate Poor Role Models In Your Organization," 28 Apr. 2021 Any government regulation of ideas is a slippery slope, but if this happens as a result of the platforms' hesitancy to crack down on vaccine misinformation, then social media companies will have only themselves to blame. K. "vish" Viswanath For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "The consequences will be deadly if we don't fight vaccine misinformation," 15 Apr. 2021 Supervisor Don Wagner pressed Chau on whether the digital records would perch the county atop a slippery slope. Melody Petersen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: A Hollywood reopening," 14 Apr. 2021 Depending on what the court decides, the ruling could be a slippery slope, opening the door to demands that college athletes get paid. CBS News, "Supreme Court to hear opening arguments in Alston v. NCAA, which could change the face of college sports," 31 Mar. 2021 The steep staircase must have looked like the descent from the Himalayas: Because of her mobility problems, every step is a slippery slope toward a possibly deadly fall. NBC News, "He covered the Covid crisis in Italy. Then the disease became personal.," 20 Mar. 2021 Such a declaration is sure to cause debate in the recovery community, which is well aware that, for many, semisobriety can be a slippery slope. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "#HollywoodNextGen: How the children of celebrities are working on their own stardom," 25 Mar. 2021 And this if-then thinking, this contingent thinking, is really a slippery slope. Eoin O'carroll, The Christian Science Monitor, "Pressed for time? You’re not alone.," 22 Mar. 2021 Canceling people for their views is the proverbial slippery slope. Gene Del Vecchio, Forbes, "Disney’s Cancel Culture Is Confused, Hypocritical, And Dangerous – Lacking Sound Management," 11 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for slippery slope

Time Traveler

The first known use of slippery slope was in 1951

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Statistics for slippery slope

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slippery slope.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on slippery slope

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