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 This is where the slippery slope to justifying unloving behaviours through the frame of 'love' begins. Janey Starling,, "Why You Need To Stop Looking For Love," 10 Apr. 2020 After that, a large group of teens walked up the hill and began smashing the produce on the road to ride sleds down the slippery slope. Joan Rusek, cleveland, "69-year-old man smashes first pumpkin during annual teen prank: Chagrin Falls Police Blotter," 30 Oct. 2019 Now, some of this is a slippery slope of logic based off of one massive goal in the season. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Stars’ Best of the Season: Alexander Radulov turns season around with hat trick vs. Wild," 27 Mar. 2020 Instead of sliding down the slippery slope to all-day laziness, try giving yourself an early-morning boost to amp up your productivity — whether that's in work, exercise, or helping the kids with schoolwork. Hillary Maglin, Travel + Leisure, "Switch Up Your Morning Routine With These 9 Energy-boosting Products," 15 Apr. 2020 Opponents say allowing women to be deacons would become a slippery slope toward ordaining women to the priesthood. Nicole Winfield,, "Pope creates new commission to study women deacons," 8 Apr. 2020 Opponents see a slippery slope leading from mandatory registration, to national identity cards, to laws requiring such cards to be carried at all times, to police checkpoints on street corners. Andrew Whitby, Wired, "A Brief History of the Census—and How Covid-19 Could Change It," 1 Apr. 2020 There are bound to be slippery slopes to any form of such censorship. Rubén Rosario, Twin Cities, "Rosario: New book on mass killers is a disturbing eye opener," 20 July 2019 Still, Measure 16 did mark the beginning of an avalanche down the slippery slope. Wesley J. Smith, National Review, "Dark Anniversary: The State of Assisted Suicide 25 Years after Measure 16," 19 Nov. 2019

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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The first known use of slippery slope was in 1951

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Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Slippery slope.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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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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