See also: Slick



  • IPA(key): /slɪk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪk

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English slicke, slike, slyke, from Old English slīc (sleek, smooth; crafty, cunning, slick), from Proto-Germanic *slīkaz (sleek, smooth), from Proto-Indo-European *sleyg-, *sleyǵ- (to glide, smooth, spread). Akin to Dutch sluik, dialectal Dutch sleek (even, smooth), Old Norse slíkr (sleek, smooth), Old English slician (to make sleek, smooth, or glossy).


slick (comparative slicker, superlative slickest)

  1. Slippery or smooth due to a covering of liquid; often used to describe appearances.
    This rain is making the roads slick.
    The top coating of lacquer gives this finish a slick look.
    His large round head was shaved slick.
  2. Appearing expensive or sophisticated.
    They read all kinds of slick magazines.
  3. Superficially convincing but actually untrustworthy.
    That new sales rep is slick. Be sure to read the fine print before you buy anything.
    • 2014, Ian Black, "Courts kept busy as Jordan works to crush support for Isis", The Guardian, 27 November 2014:
      The threat the most radical of them pose is evidently far greater at home than abroad: in one characteristically slick and chilling Isis video – entitled “a message to the Jordanian tyrant” – a smiling, long-haired young man in black pats the explosive belt round his waist as he burns his passport and his fellow fighters praise the memory of Zarqawi, who was killed in Iraq in 2006.
  4. (often used sarcastically) Clever, making an apparently hard task easy.
    Our new process for extracting needles from haystacks is extremely slick.
    That was a slick move, locking your keys in the car.
  5. (US, West Coast slang) Extraordinarily great or special.
    That is one slick bicycle: it has all sorts of features!
  6. sleek; smooth


slick (plural slicks)

  1. A covering of liquid, particularly oil.
    Careful in turn three — there's an oil slick on the road.
    The oil slick has now spread to cover the entire bay, critically endangering the sea life.
  2. (by extension, hydrodynamics, US, dated) A rapidly-expanding ring of dark water, resembling an oil slick, around the site of a large underwater explosion at shallow depth, marking the progress through the water of the shock wave generated by the explosion.
  3. Someone who is clever and untrustworthy.
  4. A tool used to make something smooth or even.
  5. (sports, automotive) A tire with a smooth surface instead of a tread pattern, often used in auto racing.
    You'll go much faster if you put on slicks.
    Synonyms: slick tire, slick tyre
  6. (US, military slang) A helicopter.
  7. (printing) A camera-ready image to be used by a printer. The "slick" is photographed to produce a negative image which is then used to burn a positive offset plate or other printing device.
    The project was delayed because the slick had not been delivered to the printer.
  8. A wide paring chisel used in joinery.
Coordinate termsEdit

(phenomenon from underwater explosion):



slick (third-person singular simple present slicks, present participle slicking, simple past and past participle slicked)

  1. To make slick.
    The surface had been slicked.
    • 2009 January 14, Melissa Clark, “Green, Gold and Pink: Fast, Easy and Delicious”, in New York Times[1]:
      So I slicked the broccoli with oil and seasonings and set it to roast.

Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit



  1. Alternative form of schlich