Definition of slope in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘With a wistful sigh Bakul picked up his large quakehammer, which had belonged to his father, and began trudging up the sandy slope towards the surface world.’
    • ‘Before my gaze was a misty, lush forest, falling away in steep slopes and verdant levels to a hidden valley below.’
    • ‘The birds spread across a rising slope of snow furrowed with ditches worn by thousands of penguin feet.’
    • ‘The hotel itself was on a slope and at ground level was virtually featureless from this side.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Towards the top of the sharp ice ridge there was approximately 300 meters of icy slope on each side of us, with large jagged rocks protruding at the bottom.’
    • ‘Eventually the Ramman river can be heard flowing hundreds of feet below, flanked on either side by slopes covered in acres of tea plantations.’
    • ‘In Ludwig's design, conference rooms will look out to the southwest, so that the people in them can watch the snow fall on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevadas.’
    • ‘These develop most commonly on gradients, where seepage of water down the slope through the surface soil is interrupted by barriers of rock, or of clay reaching or approaching the surface.’
    • ‘For decades Wycombe were a middling non-league club who played for 95 years at a ground, Loakes Park, notable for an 11-foot slope on the playing surface.’
    • ‘She ordered the men to tear up the plants, and they leveled the pretty slope and removed the soil.’
    • ‘Digging their claws into the side of the steep slope, they slowed their fall and began their jumping climb to the road above.’
    • ‘Fugro will receive tenders for the repair of 28 slopes and retaining walls in Kwun Tong, Wong Tai Sin and Sai Kung.’
    • ‘The engineers prepared a mesh surface on the southeast slope to enable equipment to be winched to the top of the hill.’
    • ‘The black horse, sitting back against the slope to avoid falling with its rider, was hard put to keep up.’
    • ‘The dangers to fall planting on a slope are obvious.’
    • ‘The outcome depends on how hard and how long it rains, how long the concrete has been down, the type of finish, and the slope of the concrete surface.’
    • ‘A pebble fell from the slope above the cave mouth and rolled to his feet and Ian stared down at it.’
    • ‘The slopes of the walls fit easily to our backs, and we sipped water and ate granola, fingering the powder absent-mindedly.’
    • ‘The roadway surfaces and embankment slopes, where disturbed, to be restored to a condition not inferior to that in which they are found before the works are commenced.’
    1. 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’
      • ‘The shape of the seafloor near land (shallower and steeper slopes lead to very different kinds of tsunami waves once they hit shore).’
      • ‘Kelp gulls used a wide variety of habitats, including areas with different slopes and degrees of vegetation cover located on island or mainland sites.’
      • ‘However, given that all three slopes differed significantly, it seemed arbitrary as to which slope to select.’
      • ‘We used analysis of covariance to test differences in the slopes among interday calibration curves.’
      • ‘Clearcut richness did not differ with slope position but forest richness was greater on lower slopes during both sample periods.’
      • ‘All the curves were represented quite well by two intersecting straight lines, thus yielding values of the initial slope and the position of the titration endpoint.’
      • ‘He trimmed the flight feathers to various lengths, and made them run up slopes of different slopes and textures.’
      • ‘Plot slopes did not differ significantly between bedrock types or aspect.’
      • ‘Even if a runway is identical in size to a familiar runway, a different slope can cause dangerous illusions as well.’
      • ‘At what position on a slope individuals will most likely be found is still unclear.’
      • ‘In general, curve ADC would not be symmetrical because the slope for the reactants would differ from the slope for the products.’
      • ‘The interaction between branch position and sapling height was used to test for differences in slopes among branches in different positions.’
      • ‘However, lizards may alter their behavior on inclines of different slopes.’
      • ‘I was doing 30 mph but because the speed camera was positioned on a slope so as you go down the road, your car gain speeds, that when my 1mph came from.’
      • ‘Ramps increase the degree of hazard, especially if they're positioned manually on a slope or by a relatively inexperienced driver.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Before we realized it, the driver moved the car backward in the slope.’
      • ‘The slopes between eye position and interaural sound pressure level ratios were not different from zero.’
      • ‘Transects were placed so as to provide a representative sample of the forest as a whole and to examine differences associated with slope position and aspect.’
      • ‘Two cameras capture the laser beam representation of the scanned lens and convey it to a computer, where the positions and slopes of the refracted beams are noted.’
      gradient, incline, angle, slant, inclination, pitch, decline, ascent, declivity, acclivity, rise, fall, downward, upward, downslope, upslope, ramp, rake, tilt, tip, dip, camber, cant, bevel
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    2. 1.2A 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’
      • ‘Terraced farmlands irrigated by a complex network of ditches carrying water from rivers ensured reliable yields even on steep mountain slopes.’
      • ‘All of this lies within ideal vine-growing latitudes, with a backbone of mountains and hillside slopes running the length of the country.’
      • ‘Those who survived, did so by running for their lives up steep mountain slopes.’
      • ‘It just stays on the valley floor, sometimes crossing snow bridges to avoid side hills and obvious avalanche slopes.’
      • ‘Most of them had spent their entire lives cultivating sorghum and sweet potatoes on the steep mountain slopes of Kibungo Prefecture in eastern Rwanda.’
      • ‘The key ecological problem was that this enormous growth of dry farming crops took place on the steep slopes of the mountain ranges.’
      • ‘The most spectacular hill slopes are the sides of deep gorges and the great rock cliffs of high mountain chains.’
      • ‘Wanderers will play tonight's game in the shadow of one of the most famous slopes in downhill skiing.’
      • ‘Sherpa villages cling to the sides of sheer mountain slopes or sit on top of steep escarpments.’
      • ‘Practice braking before you try any steep slopes or hills.’
      • ‘By far the best way to break up a dreary Irish winter is to join the holiday makers who head for the mountain slopes of Europe to indulge in a spot of skiing.’
      • ‘I slowly ascended the steep rocky slopes of the mountain.’
      • ‘I remember the pure exhilaration of tramping the steep slopes of the hills and mountains with him in search of our elusive prey.’
      • ‘Down and down, we went, like a wild ride through a city alley, block after block, with windswept, rocky mountain slopes on either side.’
      • ‘As luck would have it, much like blackcurrant in Bourgogne, blueberries are the emblematic berry in the Vosges, where they grow by the bushload up the steep mountain slopes.’
      • ‘The often steep and rugged lower slopes of the mountains are dominated by cacti, agaves, yuccas, and thorn-bearing shrubs.’
      • ‘I mean you're moving very fast; what are you physically seeing as you're going down the side of a mountain on these steep slopes?’
      • ‘Instead of the relatively flat, even terrain farther north, the Mauricie is known for everything from rolling hills to steep slopes and harshly broken, rocky terrain.’
      • ‘I heard about how tough physical training programs had paid off as the soldiers had carried their heavy loads up steep slopes in the thin mountain air.’
      • ‘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
      piste, run, track
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    3. 1.3The gradient of a graph at any point.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An analysis of covariance was used to test whether differences between the slopes of regression lines were significant.’
      • ‘However, there are few data for the largest and smallest size classes, and the apparent difference in slopes needs confirmation from additional study.’
      • ‘This can be seen by comparing the slope for each leaf position of P plants with that of the respective control during the expansion phase.’
      • ‘The t ratio for the difference between the estimated slope and - 0.5 is 0.38.’
      • ‘The exact season for any indicator is defined by its slope and its position above or below the center line.’
      • ‘Another difference is the low slope of the Modern EF in Figure 8.’
      • ‘All significant interactions reported were confirmed thorough graph and slope analyses.’
      • ‘Differences in regression slopes and intercepts among treatments were tested using ANOVA.’
      • ‘If we graphed use of price discrimination against profits would we find a positive slope across the economy as a whole?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The differences between the slopes of the two regressions provided a measure of the relative recombinagenic activity of the genotoxic test compounds.’
      • ‘Furthermore, there was no significant intersexual difference in the allometric slopes.’
      • ‘When the comparability values for the samples are plotted in descending order, we can detect significant changes in the slope of the graph.’
      • ‘However, this is due to a significant difference among populations at generation five and, thus, is not an indication of an evolving difference in the slope.’
      • ‘Statistical analysis for significant difference in the slope of mutant induction in the presence or absence of vanillin was performed using the f-test for comparison of slopes.’
      • ‘The slope data indicated no difference in processing load for location as compared to identity processing.’
      • ‘We then used the analysis of covariance to test for differences between the slopes of the regression lines for the eubacterial and the archaeal data sets.’
      • ‘Differences in the slope of regression lines were evaluated by analysis of variance.’
      • ‘We show that the effective reflectance of the bottom is proportional to the average cosine of the bottom slope.’
      • ‘In addition, the slope differences highlighted differential effects of Coffea cytosol on both nuclei according to the particular Coffea tree.’
      • ‘There appeared to be quantitative differences in the slope of the temperature dependence of the activity.’
      • ‘The regressions remain positive and statistically significant, although the slopes and intercepts differ.’
      • ‘If there is no systematic deviation in either the higher or lower end of the LT range, then the overall slope will be one and there will be no significant difference in the slopes between data sets.’
      • ‘The difference in the slopes of the lines indicates that the genotype at one QTL influences the phenotypic effect of the other QTL.’
      • ‘The difference between the slopes and intercepts obtained from histology and CT was tested using the Student's t test.’
    4. 1.4Electronics The transconductance of a valve, numerically equal to the gradient of one of the characteristic curves of the valve.
      • ‘For most materials necking begins at maximum load at a value of strain where the true stress equals the slope of the flow curve.’
      • ‘It runs along a line referred to in the evidence as the 260 elevation line at the bottom of the slope and a short distance to the west of the proposed school foundation slabs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Anterior and lateral slopes of the ventral valve evenly convex in profile.’
      • ‘Flushing frequency is determined by animal type and size, gutter width, gutter slope, and flush-tank volume.’
  • 2US informal, offensive A person from Asia, especially Vietnam or elsewhere in Southeast Asia.


  • 1 (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’
    • ‘The flat land on one side, the side we were driving on, sloped down.’
    • ‘The platform was a street with curbs on either side that sloped down very slowly to the only building in sight.’
    • ‘Take a look at how they write: are their lines sloping to the right?’
    • ‘The ground sloped down as he rounded the building into the rear parking lot.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Its sides slope gently inward to eliminate the need for a toekick, accentuating the material's monolithic character.’
    • ‘In the central highlands, you could raise cattle and crops; where the land sloped down towards sea level, coffee grew in abundance.’
    • ‘In smaller specimens the entire upper platform surface may slope into a deep groove, giving the element a V-shaped cross-section.’
    • ‘Lisa took out a form which she had clearly created because the line sloped and the ink had messily spread across the page because she had put the ruler on too early.’
    • ‘Shallow channels may form on some playas, particularly if the playa surface is sloping.’
    • ‘It was around twenty feet long and ten feet wide, with the sides sloping down to a little clear ground in the middle.’
    • ‘All of the boundaries slope in the same direction with increasing detergent concentration.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You can make your pool as shallow or as deep as you want, but the key is to make sure the sides slope: Otherwise the soil will cave in.’
    • ‘Sure enough, listening to Elza's intuition paid off as the ground sloped down to sea level, pretty soon we were able to walk onto the sand hilled beach.’
    • ‘Just outside that a water-slicked tiled roof sloped away, and below that darkness and rain shrouded a small central courtyard.’
    • ‘The roof sloped down on each side to form a squat triangular passage adorned with deep black scallops.’
    • ‘Then, if you measure up an equidistance at the corners, the ceiling will slope to match your floor.’
    • ‘The house is on seven acres, with the front grounds sloping down to the Owenmore River.’
    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
    declivitous, declivous, acclivitous, acclivous
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object]Place or arrange in a sloping position.
      ‘Poole sloped his shoulders’
      ‘a sloped leather writing surface’
      • ‘In future more downward sloping tunnels will be designed into the mine to increase storage capacity.’
      • ‘The new suit silhouette is called ‘Tokyo’ and features a jacket with either a peak or a notched collar and is slightly sloped.’
      • ‘It is a diving duck and the male is a large, white bellied, grey-backed bird with a black chest, sloping forehead and ruddy chestnut head and neck.’
      • ‘Quimper itself is very pretty - tall, thin shops and houses set on sloping riverbanks.’
      • ‘All of the rooms have sloped walls, inviting a geometry lesson, and furniture decorated with Egyptian symbols.’
      • ‘He also stood to work and so there are sloping desks at waist height.’
      • ‘Everywhere we looked, we saw tall graceful coconut palms, evenly spaced, growing around tiny cottages with sloping roofs of red tiles.’
      • ‘If I want to travel just a few hundred yards I have to negotiate sloping pavements and steep curbs in my chair.’
      • ‘Anyway, to cut a long story very short, the gutters made it up onto the house and they sloped the right way because I realised in the nick of time that water does not flow uphill.’
      • ‘A faint track through the crowberry scrub led to a rightwards sloping ramp of black slabs which seemed to give way to a series of zig-zags amongst some large blocks.’
      • ‘The teen-agers rose to their feet and began to shamble towards Nick, sloping their shoulders as they came.’
      • ‘The chopping board is sloped and has grooves to grip the food and to encourage liquid to run away from the cutting area.’
      • ‘At least three people have slipped or fallen on a steeply sloping pavement in Tewkesbury High Street.’
      • ‘Apparently Mr. Howe is a little more famous for having sloped shoulders in Canada then elsewhere.’
      • ‘Soil around foundation should be sloped to carry away water.’
      • ‘Again, sloping roofs are the in-thing now, but slopes are no good in a climate like that of Kerala as such roofs tend to develop a leak fast.’
      • ‘You get inside, and you're in a murky labyrinth of dead ends and sloping walkways and spaces that might be rooms, but then again might just be spaces.’
      • ‘The new computer model has sloped geeky shoulders and a long gawky neck.’
      • ‘The pipe needs to be sloped to drain, or should extend through the wall periodically to provide a place for the water to go.’
      • ‘Soon we roared into his short, sloping driveway.’


Late 16th century (as a verb): from the obsolete adverb slope, a shortening of aslope.