slippery

[ slip-uh-ree, slip-ree ]
/ ˈslɪp ə ri, ˈslɪp ri /

adjective, slip·per·i·er, slip·per·i·est.

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.

Nearby words

  1. slipper foot,
  2. slipper satin,
  3. slipper sock,
  4. slipperette,
  5. slipperwort,
  6. slippery as an eel,
  7. slippery dick,
  8. slippery dip,
  9. slippery elm,
  10. slippery slope

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for slippery


British Dictionary definitions for slippery

slippery

/ (ˈslɪpərɪ, -prɪ) /

adjective

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
Derived Formsslipperily, adverbslipperiness, noun

Word Origin for slippery

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 slippery

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper