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 there was also significant skepticism about the wisdom of direct U.S. military involvement, about the nature of the opposition, the risk of a slippery slope. Charles Glass, Harper's magazine, "“Tell Me How This Ends”," 10 Feb. 2019 But in this case the really bad things are a tippy-toe down the slippery slope. F.h. Buckley, WSJ, "Euthanasia And Organ Harvesting," 17 June 2019 Eskom plans to reduce its staff size (pdf, page 35), but against the backdrop of rising unemployment in South Africa, that’s bound to be a slippery slope that will require strong political will. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "The top South African CEO gig that no one wants," 4 June 2019 Once at the restaurant in his neighborhood with Mary and her fiance, the slippery slope of Bigger’s attachment to his new life in the white world begins. Prince Shakur, Teen Vogue, ""Native Son" Reflects a World Where Young Black Men Are Often Set Up to Fail," 16 Apr. 2019 But skin-care routines are a slippery slope for someone with my mental makeup. Jacqueline Kantor, SELF, "How I Balance My Skin-Care Routine and My OCD Symptoms," 22 May 2019 His concerns were echoed by his conservative colleagues, including Roberts, who suggested that second guessing the president’s national security decisions would lead to a slippery slope that could render the president powerless. Liz Goodwin,, "Key Supreme Court justices appear friendly to travel ban," 25 Apr. 2018 But, just like in the U.S., there are some gun owners who believe any reform is a slippery slope to the banning of all guns. Zac Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "New Zealand Banned Guns After Thoughts and Prayers. Why Can’t America?," 23 Mar. 2019 Here, Walker danced without shame on a slippery slope of responsibility, one that has consumed politics, entertainment and professional sports. Ben Golliver,, "From Dolphin Ethics to Moon Landings, Lonnie Walker IV Unloads Scorching Takes," 21 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

7 Jul 2019

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on slippery slope

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slippery slope

Comments on slippery slope

What made you want to look up slippery slope? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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