American English

Definition of slippery adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(informal slippy) difficult to hold or to stand or move on, because it is smooth, wet, or polished slippery like a fish In places the path can be wet and slippery. His hand was slippery with sweat.
  2. 2(informal) (of a person) that you cannot trust Don't believe what he says—he's a slippery customer.
  3. 3(informal) (of a situation, subject, problem, etc.) difficult to deal with and that you have to think about carefully Freedom is a slippery concept (= because its meaning changes according to your point of view).
  4. Idioms
    the/a slippery slope
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    a course of action that is difficult to stop once it has begun, and can lead to serious problems or disaster She realized he was on the slippery slope toward a life of crime.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: slippery