Definition of slope in English:

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Pronunciation: /sləʊp/


1A surface of which one end or side is at a higher level than another; a rising or falling surface: he slithered helplessly down the slope
More example sentences
  • Before my gaze was a misty, lush forest, falling away in steep slopes and verdant levels to a hidden valley below.
  • The engineers prepared a mesh surface on the southeast slope to enable equipment to be winched to the top of the hill.
  • Cromarty indicated that was not his intention, but that his intention was that the entire surface have a gentle slope towards the center where the water would then drain to the catch basin.
1.1A difference in level or sideways position between the two ends or sides of a thing: the roof should have a slope sufficient for proper drainage [mass noun]: the backward slope of the chair
More example sentences
  • We chose to do our dendrochronological work with pitch pine and Virginia pine to increase our chances of detecting site differences at the two slope positions.
  • The interaction between branch position and sapling height was used to test for differences in slopes among branches in different positions.
  • The slopes between eye position and interaural sound pressure level ratios were not different from zero.
gradient, incline, angle, slant, inclination, pitch, decline, ascent, declivity, acclivity, rise, fall, downward, upward, downslope, upslope, ramp, rake, tilt, tip, dip, camber, cant, bevel;
North American  grade, downgrade, upgrade
1.2 (often slopes) A part of the side of a hill or mountain, especially as a place for skiing: a ten-minute cable car ride delivers you to the slopes
More example sentences
  • Down and down, we went, like a wild ride through a city alley, block after block, with windswept, rocky mountain slopes on either side.
  • It just stays on the valley floor, sometimes crossing snow bridges to avoid side hills and obvious avalanche slopes.
  • Skiers will only be allowed access to the downhill skiing slopes, while non-skiing visitors will be confined to the Ptarmigan centre.
hill, hillside, hillock, bank, rise, escarpment, scarp;
Scottish  brae
technical glacis, versant, adret, ubac, bajada, piedmont
literary steep
piste, run, track;
nursery slope, dry slope, dry-ski slope;
North American  trail
1.3The gradient of a graph at any point.
Example sentences
  • Working with this activity, one student came to a sudden realization that the slope on one graph was numerically equal to the y-coordinate for the other.
  • When the comparability values for the samples are plotted in descending order, we can detect significant changes in the slope of the graph.
  • However, it is difficult to estimate the variance associated with the x-intercept, which is the negative ratio of the y-intercept and the slope of a linear equation.
1.4 Electronics The mutual conductance of a valve, numerically equal to the gradient of one of the characteristic curves of the valve.
Example sentences
  • Anterior and lateral slopes of the ventral valve evenly convex in profile.
  • With hot water heating systems, the diameter of the piping remains constant, the slope is irrelevant, and all lines are insulated to prevent heat loss.
  • For most materials necking begins at maximum load at a value of strain where the true stress equals the slope of the flow curve.
2US informal, offensive A person from East Asia, especially Vietnam.


1 [no object] (Of a surface or line) be inclined from a horizontal or vertical line; slant up or down: the garden sloped down to a stream the ceiling sloped
More example sentences
  • The land on either side of the road sloped down and away, giving way to rows of trees on both sides, and a healthy expanse of grass.
  • Mr. Garbutt acknowledged that the brick ties should have been at an absolute minimum horizontal but preferably sloped down at an angle from the block to the brick.
  • Orlan studied the left wall, which was the largest since the ceiling sloped down to the right side of the room, evidently having occurred because of pressure from above.
slant, incline, tilt;
drop away, fall away, decline, descend, sink, shelve, lean, dip;
rise, ascend, climb
at a slant, on the slant, at an angle, not straight, slanting, slanted, slantwise, slant, oblique, leaning, inclining, inclined, angled, cambered, canted;
askew, skew, lopsided, crooked, tilting, tilted, atilt, dipping, out of true, out of line;
Scottish  squint
rare declivitous, declivous, acclivitous, acclivous
1.1 [with object] Place or arrange in a sloping position: Poole sloped his shoulders (as adjective sloped) a sloped leather writing surface
More example sentences
  • The new computer model has sloped geeky shoulders and a long gawky neck.
  • The teen-agers rose to their feet and began to shamble towards Nick, sloping their shoulders as they came.
  • Apparently Mr. Howe is a little more famous for having sloped shoulders in Canada then elsewhere.
2 [no object, with adverbial of direction] British informal Move in an idle or aimless manner: I had seen Don sloping about the beach
2.1 (slope off) Leave unobtrusively, typically in order to evade work or duty: the men sloped off looking ashamed of themselves
More example sentences
  • And not that I have actually said goodbye yet either: it is more a case of the staff distracting my now quiet and quivery-lipped boy while I sneak out the door and slope off down the corridor.
  • Seemingly unconcerned by his lack of recognition, Mr Rotten took security guards to task over the expulsion order, before declaring the whole thing was ‘boring anyway’ and sloping off.
  • Or have I been secretly sloping off down the pub every night?
leave, go away, go, slip away, take oneself off, make oneself scarce, take one's leave, make off, steal away, slink off, creep off, sneak off
informal push off, clear off



at the slope

Military (Of a rifle) held with the barrel on the left shoulder and the butt in the left hand.
Example sentences
  • Pamela used to recall how the red banner she had once paraded through the streets of London had to be held at the slope, since she was a little woman and could not keep it up straight.

slope arms

Military Hold a rifle at the slope.
Example sentences
  • As the cortège, pictured here, appeared, slowly progressing towards the church escorted by two police motorcycle outriders, the Marines sloped arms.
  • As a Rifle Regiment does not slope arms there was no need to pin the brim of the hat up.
  • The Escort now presents arms and the parade is then ordered to slope arms and the officers ordered to take posts.


Late 16th century (as a verb): from the obsolete adverb slope, a shortening of aslope. The use of the verb with reference to aimless or unobtrusive movement may be related to lope.

Words that rhyme with slope

aslope, cope, dope, elope, grope, hope, interlope, lope, mope, nope, ope, pope, rope, scope, soap, taupe, tope, trope

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: slope

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