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slippery slope

a dangerous and irreversible course:
the slippery slope from narcotics to prison.
Origin of slippery slope
First recorded in 1985-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for slippery slope
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So there we stood, gesticulating gaily on the slippery slope.

    In the Mountains

    Elizabeth von Arnim
  • Slade threw up his arms, fell back on their side of the mountain and then slid down the slippery slope.

    The Tree of Appomattox Joseph A. Altsheler
  • In the drenching rain the French pushed forward, dragging their guns with great difficulty up the slippery slope.

  • He had been a very draught-horse, straining at a load which would not move—straining at it on a slippery slope.

    Second String Anthony Hope
  • At any rate, the smoke overtook the man in that narrow place as he began to climb the slippery slope of clay.

Slang definitions & phrases for slippery slope

slippery slope

noun phrase

A disastrous course; irrecoverable commitment: Active euthanasia brings with it many dicey procedural questions, and, ultimately, a slippery slope (1951+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with slippery slope

slippery slope

A dangerous course, one that leads easily to catastrophe, as in He's on a slippery slope, compromising his values to please both the bosses and the union. This metaphoric expression alludes to traversing a slick hillside, in constant danger of falling. [ Mid-1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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