Origin obscure. Possibly a corruption of Silesia, through a word meaning “Silesian cloth”. Silesia used to be the most important location of Germany’s weaving industry.


  • IPA(key): /sliː.zi/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːzi


sleazy (comparative sleazier, superlative sleaziest)

  1. Marked by low quality; inferior; inadequate.
    • 2014, Louis V. Rohr, The President's Hero, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 3:
      Al bought my furniture at ten percent of its value and Jim drove me to a sleazy side-avenue hotel, where I obtained a room at a low rate.
  2. raunchy or perverted in nature; tastelessly sexual
    • 2000, Stephen D. Dighton, Locked In, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN, page 226:
      Nancy knew it was a sleazy movie because the channel's logo appeared in the lower right corner of the screen. This satellite station only showed sleazy films at this time of the night. Actually its selection of films was trashy at any time, but the after-eleven fare was especially so. (..) It's garbage, a step or two removed from pornography.
  3. untrustworthy
    • 2007, Milton T. Burton, The Sweet and the Dead, St. Martin's Press, →ISBN, page 1:
      The Gold Dust was a sleazy place, a clip joint with crooked gambling tables in the back and a fleet of B-girls who would give you a few minutes' vapid conversation and a peek at the tops of their breasts if you bought them a three-dollar drink ...
    • 2011, Gary Patella, Diary of an Evil Genius, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN, page 38:
      Their reasons are mainly because they are simply people that I would consider sleazysleazy, slimy, shady, whatever term you want to use. The point is that, I am not one of them.
  4. (dated) thin and flimsy


Derived termsEdit

Usage notesEdit

The following example shows the first three senses in a single sentence:

  • 2000, Barbara Delinsky, The Vineyard: A Novel, Simon and Schuster, →ISBN, page 289:
    Or was it money for sex, left on a sleazy (low quality) nightstand by a sleazy (untrustworthy) John when he finished doing his sleazy (perverted) thing?

Sleazy John may be interpreted as untrustworthy, perverted or both in this case.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.