Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To diverge from the vertical or horizontal; incline: synonym: slant.
  • intransitive verb To move or walk.
  • intransitive verb To cause to slope.
  • noun An inclined line, surface, plane, position, or direction.
  • noun A stretch of ground forming a natural or artificial incline.
  • noun A deviation from the horizontal.
  • noun The amount or degree of such deviation.
  • noun The rate at which an ordinate of a point of a line on a coordinate plane changes with respect to a change in the abscissa.
  • noun The tangent of the angle of inclination of a line, or the slope of the tangent line for a curve or surface.
  • noun Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a person of East Asian birth or ancestry.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Inclined or inclining from a horizontal direction; forming an angle with the plane of the horizon; slanting; aslant.
  • noun An oblique direction; obliquity; slant; especially, a direction downward; as, a piece of timber having a slight slope.
  • noun A declivity or acclivity; any ground whose surface forms an angle with the plane of the horizon.
  • noun Specifically— In civil engineering, an inclined bank of earth on the sides of a cutting or an embankment. See grade, 2.
  • noun In coal-mining, an inclined passage driven in the bed of coal and open to the surface: a term rarely if ever used in metal-mines, in which shafts that are not vertical are called inclines. See shaft and incline.
  • noun In fort., the inclined surface of the interior, top, or exterior of a parapet or other portion of a work. See cut under parapet.
  • noun In mathematics, the rate of change of a scalar function of a vector, relatively to that of the variable, in the direction in which this change is a maximum.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An oblique direction; a line or direction including from a horizontal line or direction; also, sometimes, an inclination, as of one line or surface to another.
  • noun Any ground whose surface forms an angle with the plane of the horizon.
  • noun The part of a continent descending toward, and draining to, a particular ocean.
  • noun (Geom.) the direction of the plane.
  • adjective Sloping.
  • adverb obsolete In a sloping manner.
  • transitive verb To form with a slope; to give an oblique or slanting direction to; to direct obliquely; to incline; to slant
  • intransitive verb To take an oblique direction; to be at an angle with the plane of the horizon; to incline.
  • intransitive verb Slang To depart; to disappear suddenly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An area of ground that tends evenly upward or downward.
  • noun The degree to which a surface tends upward or downward.
  • noun mathematics The ratio of the vertical and horizontal distances between two points on a line; zero if the line is horizontal, undefined if it is vertical.
  • noun mathematics The slope of the line tangent to a curve at a given point.
  • noun The angle a roof surface makes with the horizontal, expressed as a ratio of the units of vertical rise to the units of horizontal length (sometimes referred to as run). For English units of measurement, when dimensions are given in inches, slope may be expressed as a ratio of rise to run, such as 4:12 or an an angle.
  • noun vulgar, highly offensive A person of Chinese or other East Asian descent.
  • verb To tend steadily upward or downward.
  • verb colloquial To try to move surreptitiously.
  • verb military To hold a rifle at a slope with forearm perpendicular to the body in front holding the butt, the rifle resting on the shoulder.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the property possessed by a line or surface that departs from the horizontal
  • noun an elevated geological formation
  • verb be at an angle

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably from Middle English aslope, sloping.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From aslope (a & adv).

Examples

  • For the path on the Candiarei side has been lately swept away by a torrent of snow and water from the Marmolata, and the whole mountain slope is here one mass of soft red mud, more slippery than ice, full of pits and fissures, and very difficult.

    Untrodden Peaks and Unfrequented Valleys

  • (And the latter is estimated as a function of the term slope, stock prices, credit spreads, bank lending conditions, oil prices, and the unemployment rate).

    The Big Picture

  • The latter is estimated as a function of the term slope, stock prices, credit spreads, bank lending conditions, oil prices, and the unemployment rate.

    The Big Picture

  • The former probability is estimated as a function of the term slope of interest rates, stock prices, payroll employment, personal income, and industrial production.

    The Big Picture

  • The probability is estimated as a function of the term slope of interest rates, stock prices, payroll employment, personal income, and industrial production.

    The Big Picture

  • Scrambling up and down muddy cliffs choked with bracken, Thorsen tossed me tips for reading the bluffs: a vertical stripe of alders all the same size conceals an avalanche scar; evergreen trees growing at strange angles are a bad sign; a flattened bench, or shelf, partway down a slope is a terrible place to put a house, because it was created by slide action.

    The Liquid Earth

  • Scrambling up and down muddy cliffs choked with bracken, Thorsen tossed me tips for reading the bluffs: a vertical stripe of alders all the same size conceals an avalanche scar; evergreen trees growing at strange angles are a bad sign; a flattened bench, or shelf, partway down a slope is a terrible place to put a house, because it was created by slide action.

    The Liquid Earth

  • I believe, too, that there are many analogies between the spoil of skiing, which I dearly love, and doing theoretical work in science - the challenge and sense of excitement when the slope is a little more difficult than one feels comfortable with, or the boredom if too easy, or the probable disaster if too difficult.

    Rudolph A. Marcus - Banquet Speech

  • But this slope is not nearly as slippery as prescriptivists would have you believe.

    2010 January « Motivated Grammar

  • He found one more clip of .45 ACP 230 gr hardball and decided to shoot it through the skyscreens but was now slightly elevated up a little slope from the bench.

    Video Blog: Shooting Over A Chronograph

Comments

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  • Sets of classic literature "were cheap to buy" at the Rag Man's "and I bought them—sloping into the warren of storerooms after work, knowing he'd stay open playing his ancient opera records . . ."

    Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (New York: Grove Press, 2011), p. 91.

    January 12, 2016