Definition of slippery adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈslɪpəri//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈslɪpəri//
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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 (= person).
  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. Word Originlate 15th cent.: from dialect slipper ‘slippery’, probably suggested by Luther's schlipfferig.Extra examples International law is notoriously slippery. The concrete gets slippery when it’s wet. The oil made the ground slippery and treacherous to walk on. The track was wet and slippery for the race. Watch out—the floor’s a bit slippery. rocks that were slippery with seaweedIdioms 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 towards a life of crime.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: slippery