1590s, "go in an oblique direction," from earlier adjective meaning "slanting" (c. 1500), probably from Middle English aslope (adv.) "on the incline" (late 15c.), from Old English *aslopen, past participle of aslupan "to slip away," from a- "away" + slupan "to slip" (see sleeve). IT is attested from 1709 as "be in a slanting position;" the transitive sense of "place in a slanting position" is from c. 1600. Related: Sloped; sloping.
1610s, "inclination, slant, oblique direction," from slope (v.). The meaning "an incline, a slant (of ground)" is from 1620s, the sense in ski-slope. The derogatory slang meaning "Oriental person" is attested from 1948, American English, from the shape of the eyes.
updated on January 12, 2023