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.


  1. slippery

    Slippery is a word used to describe an object or surface that is hard to hold, grip, stand on, or move on because it is smooth, wet, or polished, making it easy to slide or lose balance accidentally. It can also refer to a situation that is complex, tricky, or uncertain. Additionally, it might describe a person who is difficult to catch, control or deal with, often because of cunning or deceitful behavior.

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. Niki Lauda:

    Singapore was a very good lesson, we had the cars set up wrong for the conditions there. It was very odd. The circuit is very slippery there and we never got the tires to work properly. This was the mistake.

  2. Sadiq Khan:

    The idea that we restrict freedom of speech, the right to assemble, the right to protest because somebody might be offended is a slippery slope, we have a rich history in this country of having a sense of humor as well.

  3. Judith Stein:

    I'm concerned that the telehealth reforms could be good but a slippery slope if it leads to less care being available for some, and in-person care being available for others.

  4. Eli Wilson:

    This as a very slippery slope, in this context, it opens another can of worms to allow employers to use them as a wage replacement when worker earnings are already not particularly high.

  5. Patrick Pouyanne:

    We don't need a law to impose it on us because it will become a slippery slope, i am convinced that for some of my colleagues, their headquarters will leave France if laws like that are passed.

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Translations for slippery

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"slippery." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/slippery>.

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    standing above others in quality or position
    A occlusive
    B appellative
    C contagious
    D eminent

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