View synonyms for slope


[ slohp ]

verb (used without object)

, sloped, slop·ing.
  1. to have or take an inclined or oblique direction or angle considered with reference to a vertical or horizontal plane; slant.
  2. to move at an inclination or obliquely:

    They sloped gradually westward.

verb (used with object)

, sloped, slop·ing.
  1. to direct at a slant or inclination; incline from the horizontal or vertical:

    The sun sloped its beams.

  2. to form with a slope or slant:

    to slope an embankment.


  1. ground that has a natural incline, as the side of a hill.
  2. inclination or slant, especially downward or upward.
  3. deviation from the horizontal or vertical.
  4. an inclined surface.
  5. Usually slopes. hills, especially foothills or bluffs:

    the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

  6. Mathematics.
    1. the tangent of the angle between a given straight line and the x- axis of a system of Cartesian coordinates.
    2. the derivative of the function whose graph is a given curve evaluated at a designated point.
  7. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a person of East Asian origin, especially a Vietnamese or other South Asian.


/ sləʊp /


  1. to lie or cause to lie at a slanting or oblique angle
  2. intr (esp of natural features) to follow an inclined course

    many paths sloped down the hillside

  3. intr; foll by off, away, etc to go furtively
  4. tr military (formerly) to hold (a rifle) in the slope position (esp in the command slope arms )


  1. an inclined portion of ground
  2. plural hills or foothills
  3. any inclined surface or line
  4. the degree or amount of such inclination
  5. maths
    1. (of a line) the tangent of the angle between the line and another line parallel to the x- axis
    2. the first derivative of the equation of a curve at a given point
  6. (formerly) the position adopted for British military drill when the rifle is rested on the shoulder
  7. slang.
    a person from Southeast Asia, especially a Vietnamese

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Sensitive Note

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Derived Forms

  • ˈslopingly, adverb
  • ˈsloper, noun
  • ˈslopingness, noun
  • ˈsloping, adjective

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Other Words From

  • sloping·ly adverb
  • sloping·ness noun
  • un·sloped adjective
  • un·sloping adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of slope1

First recorded in 1495–1505; aphetic variant of aslope; akin to slip 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of slope1

C15: short for aslope, perhaps from the past participle of Old English āslūpan to slip away, from slūpan to slip

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. slope off, Chiefly British Slang. to make one's way out slowly or furtively.

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Synonym Study

Slope, slant mean to incline away from a relatively straight surface or line used as a reference. To slope is to incline vertically in an oblique direction: The ground slopes ( upward or downward ) sharply here. To slant is to fall to one side, to lie obliquely to some line whether horizontal or perpendicular: The road slants off to the right.

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Example Sentences

In other words, the slope of the power spectrum was steeper.

Don’t forget your soft goods, though—staying warm and dry on the slopes makes any day more fun.

Exercise has moved from the slopes and onto basement treadmills or stationary bikes, with a few squats and push-ups mixed in.

Luckily the best ski goggles offer anti-fogging technology to keep your goggles free of condensation and your vision sharply on the slopes.

Instead, they searched for factors, such as wind speed and slope, that could help them predict a fire’s next move in real time.

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.

The slippery slope argument is a way of keeping the hands-off-the-Internet-entirely philosophy going.

Yes, there are signs that even hipsters are starting to prefer Central Park to Park Slope.

Nobody else thought that his patch, on a 60-degree angled slope, was viable as a vineyard.

I turned away from the bank and raced up a long slope to a saw-backed ridge that promised largely of unobstructed view.

It lit up every ridge and hollow for two or three seconds, and showed me four riders tearing up the slope at a high run.

We followed the upland past the end of the Stone till we found a slope that didn't require wings for descent.

As we stepped from behind the rock three riders came into sight on the opposite slope of Lost River.

The lone pine on the stone cap of Gander Knob waved its farewell, and we clattered down the long slope into the great world.


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More About Slope

What does slope mean?

In mathematics, the slope (also called the gradient) of a line is a measurement of how steep the line is or how much of a slant it has.

In math, a line is an object with no thickness that extends forever in both directions. In basic math, we assume lines to be perfectly straight, meaning they don’t curve or change directions to form angles.

Take a piece of graph paper to create a Cartesian plane by drawing two perpendicular lines. These two lines are called the axes. The axis going sideways is the x-axis, and the axis going up and down is the y-axis. We use these axes to label where any point on the plane is located. You can then measure the slope of a line compared to the x-axis by using the Cartesian coordinates on your Cartesian plane.

Why is slope important?

The first records of the word slope, which has several other meanings, come from around 1495. It emerged as a variant of the word aslope, meaning “diagonally” or “aslant.” Mathematical slopes and (Cartesian coordinates) were formulated by mathematician and philosopher René Descartes (1596–1650).

In basic math, we only measure slopes of straight lines. Finding the slopes of curved or nonlinear lines is much more complicated and is usually used to introduce students to derivatives in calculus.

Did you know … ?

A horizontal line has a slope of 0, while a vertical line has an undefined slope. The reason for the undefined slope is that the x coordinates would be the same and equal 0 when subtracted from each other. Because you cannot divide by 0, the slope of a vertical line is impossible to determine.

What are real-life examples of slope?

Slopes and slope formulas are a relatively simple mathematical concept that will nonetheless cause misery to students who don’t enjoy math.


What other words are related to slope?

Quiz yourself!

True or False?

In mathematics, the slope of a line is calculated using Cartesian coordinates.

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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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