What does slippery mean?

Definitions for slippery
ˈslɪp ə ri, ˈslɪp rislip·pe·ry

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word slippery.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. slippery, slippyadjective

    causing or tending to cause things to slip or slide

    "slippery sidewalks"; "a slippery bar of soap"; "the streets are still slippy from the rain"

  2. slippery, trickyadjective

    not to be trusted

    "how extraordinarily slippery a liar the camera is"- James Agee


  1. slipperyadjective

    Of a surface, having low friction, often due to being covered in a non-viscous liquid, and therefore hard to grip, hard to stand on without falling, etc.

  2. slipperyadjective

    Evasive; difficult to pin down.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Slipperyadjective

    Etymology: slipur , Saxon; sliperig, Swedish.

    They trim their feathers, which makes them oily and slippery, that the water slips off. John Mortimer.

    Oily substances only lubricate and make the bowels slippery. Arbuthnot.

    Did you know the art o’ th’ court,
    As hard to leave as keep; whose top to climb,
    Is certain falling; or so slipp’ry, that
    The fear’s as bad as falling. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    His promise to trust to as slippery as ice. Thomas Tusser.

    Their way shall be as slippery ways in the darkness. Jer. xxiii.

    The slipp’ry tops of human state,
    The gilded pinacles of fate. Abraham Cowley.

    The higher they are raised, the giddier they are; the more slippery is their standing, and the deeper the fall. Roger L'Estrange.

    The highest hill is the most slipp’ry place,
    And fortune mocks us with a smiling face. John Denham.

    Beauty, like ice, our footing does betray;
    Who can tread sure on the smooth slippery way? Dryden.

    Thus surely bound, yet be not overbold,
    The slipp’ry god will try to loose his hold;
    And various forms assume, to cheat thy sight,
    And with vain images of beasts affright. John Dryden, Georg.

    When they fall, as being slipp’ry standers,
    The love that lean’d on them as slipp’ry too,
    Doth one pluck down another, and together
    Die in the fast. William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida.

    Oh world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn,
    Whose double bosoms seem to wear one heart,
    Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal and exercise,
    Are still together; who twine, as ’twere, in love
    Unseparable, shall within this hour,
    On a dissension of a doit, break out
    To bitterest enmity. William Shakespeare.

    He looking down
    With scorn or pity on the slippery state
    Of kings, will tread upon the neck of fate. John Denham, Sophy.

    One sure trick is better than a hundred slippery ones. Roger L'Estrange.

    My wife is slippery. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.


  1. slippery

    Slipperiness is when a surface has a low coefficient of friction, allowing objects to glide across the surface. People walking on slippery surfaces are likely to slip or fall. A surface can for example be slippery due to it being wet, or due to it being icy. There are several competing theories about why ice is slippery. Road slipperiness is a major area of road safety, but various means have also been developed to measure walkway and deck slipperiness in order to develop health and safety standards.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Slipperyadjective

    having the quality opposite to adhesiveness; allowing or causing anything to slip or move smoothly, rapidly, and easily upon the surface; smooth; glib; as, oily substances render things slippery

  2. Slipperyadjective

    not affording firm ground for confidence; as, a slippery promise

  3. Slipperyadjective

    not easily held; liable or apt to slip away

  4. Slipperyadjective

    liable to slip; not standing firm

  5. Slipperyadjective

    unstable; changeable; mutable; uncertain; inconstant; fickle

  6. Slipperyadjective

    uncertain in effect

  7. Slipperyadjective

    wanton; unchaste; loose in morals

  8. Etymology: [See Slipper, a.]

How to pronounce slippery?

How to say slippery in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of slippery in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of slippery in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of slippery in a Sentence

  1. Francis M. Faber Jr,:

    Does a 'greased palm' offer a 'slippery shake'?

  2. Mira Calton:

    We sounded the alarm back in 2013 and hoped people would understand what a slippery slope it is to have all of these foods that are genetically modified, obviously, we can't say without a doubt that GMOs are dangerous, but we can say that not enough human studies have been done. We don't want to be the guinea pigs.

  3. Mia Love:

    It’s a slippery slope to force somebody to do something on the federal side. There are a lot of people that are really concerned about the vaccine and instead of forcing people to say ‘listen we’re going to force you to do this,’ we need to find out why they’re afraid.

  4. Dan Ives:

    It's a slippery slope for Musk.

  5. Mike Lange:

    I just wanna see a slippery seal sliding sideways in Sausalito!

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for slippery

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for slippery »


Find a translation for the slippery definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"slippery." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 28 May 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/slippery>.

Discuss these slippery definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for slippery? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    the domain ruled by an emperor or empress; the region over which imperial dominion is exercised
    • A. aerial
    • B. endeavor
    • C. empire
    • D. mediocrity

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for slippery: