- causing or liable to cause sliding or slipping, as a wet, waxed, or greasy surface
- tending to slip away, as from a grasp
- not reliable or trustworthy; deceitful
- subject to change: a slippery situation
- Obs. immoral
Origin of slipperyaltered from Middle English sliper, slippery from Old English slipor, akin to Middle High German slupferic: for Indo-European base see slip
- Causing or tending to cause sliding or slipping: a slippery sidewalk.
- Tending to slip, as from one's grasp: a slippery bar of soap.
- Not trustworthy; elusive or tricky: “How extraordinarily slippery a liar the camera is” ( James Agee )
Origin of slipperyAlteration of obsolete slipper from Middle English from Old English slipor ; see lei- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative slipperier, superlative slipperiest)
- 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.
- Oily substances render things slippery.
- (figuratively, by extension) Evasive; difficult to pin down.
- a slippery person
- a slippery promise
- unstable; changeable; inconstant