Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

(on)a slippery slope

a slippery slopeon a slippery slope
Meaning(s)
1) a bad situation that if not changed, will only continue to get worse
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • someone is on a slippery slope to a life of crime
  • Analysis

    A 'slippery slope' is an action or decision that will probably make things worse or which is likely to lead to something dangerous or unwanted. A slope moves downhill, so the implication here is that the decision or action will lead to someone's downfall. This is an informal idiomatic expression.

  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. Many people in the country are worried that if their government's new reforms are all passed, their country will be on a slippery slope to ruin.
    2. I'm worried about Peter. If he doesn't change his ways, he will be on a slippery slope to a life of crime.
    3. Borrowing money when you are young can set you on a slippery slope to debt when you are older.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. In my performance review, my manager said that I was on a slippery slope and needed to turn things around quickly if I wanted to keep my job.
    2. By providing free snacks and sedentary jobs, some companies set their employees up on a slippery slope to obesity.
    3. I think giving in to their request will be a slippery slope. They will expect us to give them everything they ask for.
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