- tending or liable to cause slipping or sliding, as ice, oil, a wet surface, etc.: a slippery road.
- tending to slip from the hold or grasp or from position: a slippery rope.
- likely to slip away or escape: slippery prospects.
- not to be depended on; fickle; shifty, tricky, or deceitful.
- unstable or insecure, as conditions: a slippery situation.
Origin of slippery
Related Wordssilky, polished, unsafe, icy, unstable, wet, glistening, perilous, greasy, tricky, elusive, treacherous, smooth, slick, unpredictable, shifty, glassy, glazed, lustrous, satiny
Examples from the Web for slippery
Historically, conservatives treated the minimum wage as an affront to free labor and a step on a slippery slope towards statism.
Swiss leaders also dispel the “slippery slope” idea by repeatedly rejecting substantial minimum wage increases.
Hers is a particular brand of essay: writing at its most crystal clear, subject matter at its most slippery and interesting.From Didion to Dunham, Female Essayists Seize the Day
October 17, 2014
The slippery slope argument is a way of keeping the hands-off-the-Internet-entirely philosophy going.Congress, Big Tech Fight Over Child Prostitution Bill
October 6, 2014
Which is why his efforts to justify his rabid consumption of football wind up feeling so slippery and convoluted.Forget the Wife Beating—Are You Ready for Some Football?
September 11, 2014
In one or two spots the water ran over, and those spots were slippery.Weighed and Wanting
The door was piled with bodies, and the stone floor was slippery with blood.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
It was about ten o'clock—rainin' hard and bad goin', it was that slippery.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
Then he sprang upon the slippery rock and snatched the gold.Opera Stories from Wagner
I should have believed so, if my hand which had clutched that other hand, had not been slippery with oil.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
- causing or tending to cause objects to slipa slippery road
- liable to slip from the grasp, a position, etc
- not to be relied upon; cunning and untrustworthya slippery character
- (esp of a situation) liable to change; unstable
- slippery slope a course of action that will lead to disaster or failure
Word Origin and History for slippery
"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.