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slippery

[slip-uh-ree, slip-ree]
See more synonyms for slippery on Thesaurus.com
adjective, slip·per·i·er, slip·per·i·est.
  1. tending or liable to cause slipping or sliding, as ice, oil, a wet surface, etc.: a slippery road.
  2. tending to slip from the hold or grasp or from position: a slippery rope.
  3. likely to slip away or escape: slippery prospects.
  4. not to be depended on; fickle; shifty, tricky, or deceitful.
  5. unstable or insecure, as conditions: a slippery situation.
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Origin of slippery

1525–35; alteration of slipper2; compare Low German slipperig; see -y1
Related formsslip·per·i·ness, nounnon·slip·per·y, adjectiveun·slip·per·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

silkypolishedunsafeicyunstablewetglisteningperilousgreasytrickyelusivetreacheroussmoothslickunpredictableshiftyglassyglazedlustroussatiny

Examples from the Web for slipperier

Historical Examples

  • To me the cliff looked much like the Matterhorn, only slipperier.

    Everyday Adventures

    Samuel Scoville

  • But when they get to mixin' in things they're slipperier than a bunch of quicksilver.

    The Long Dim Trail

    Forrestine C. Hooker


British Dictionary definitions for slipperier

slippery

adjective
  1. causing or tending to cause objects to slipa slippery road
  2. liable to slip from the grasp, a position, etc
  3. not to be relied upon; cunning and untrustworthya slippery character
  4. (esp of a situation) liable to change; unstable
  5. slippery slope a course of action that will lead to disaster or failure
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Derived Formsslipperily, adverbslipperiness, noun

Word Origin

C16: probably coined by Coverdale to translate German schlipfferig in Luther's Bible (Psalm 35:6); related to Old English slipor slippery
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for slipperier

slippery

adj.

"having a slippery surface," c.1500, from Middle English sliper (adj.) "readily slipping," from Old English slipor "slippery, having a smooth surface" (see slip (v.)) + -y (2). Metaphoric sense of "deceitful, untrustworthy" is first recorded 1550s. Related: Slipperiness. In a figurative sense, slippery slope is first attested 1844. Slippery elm (1748) so called for its mucilaginous inner bark.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper