Definition of slick in English:

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Pronunciation: /slik/


1(Of an action or thing) done or operating in an impressively smooth, efficient, and apparently effortless way: a slick piece of software
More example sentences
  • Today's pirates are slick professional operations filling Britain's airwaves with everything from street music to extreme political messages.
  • Py's stagecraft, with its rolling trolleys, red curtains and golded frames like religious icons, is slick and efficient, but not dazzling.
  • Brazil's slick passing game gathered pace, helped by Turkey's defensive errors, but the score was unchanged at halftime.
efficient, smooth, smooth-running, polished, well organized, well run, streamlined
1.1Smooth and superficially impressive but insincere or shallow: the brands are backed by slick advertising he’s a slick con man
More example sentences
  • Don't be fooled by the slick advertising and deceptively impressive hardware and launch titles.
  • Far from being slick and superficial, it is, he says, a natural empathy with the listener which wins their sympathy and support and shows the best side of the politician.
  • But this effort is based on action, not slick advertising.
glib, smooth, fluent, plausible
2(Of skin or hair) smooth and glossy: a dandy-looking dude with a slick black ponytail
More example sentences
  • He was tall with black, slick hair and brown eyes.
  • Maria soon returned with her father, a burly man with a curled black mustache and slick hair.
  • His straight slick hair shone like silver in the moonlight.
shiny, glossy, shining, sleek, smooth, oiled
2.1(Of a surface) smooth, wet, and slippery: she tumbled back against the slick, damp wall
More example sentences
  • The few other people that were there watched in confusion as he soared across the slick surface and crashed into the wall.
  • We get out and shuffle cautiously on the slick surface.
  • It skidded across the slick surface and fell off the other side with a sickly thunk.
slippery, wet, greasy
informal slippy


1An oil slick.
Example sentences
  • Nicholls was competing in France in 2002 when the slick from the oil tanker Prestige hit the beach.
  • Just as frightening, and equally lethal, is the summer equivalent - a slick of engine oil on the road and a slight drizzle on top.
  • I informed the pilot there was a large slick of engine oil down the starboard pylon.
1.1A small smear or patch of a glossy or wet substance, especially a cosmetic: a slick of lip balm
More example sentences
  • There was an oily slick on top and far too many noodles, flabbily over - cooked.
  • Blot the whole lip area again and top with a slick of gloss.
  • If you do feel your blood pressure starting to rise, simply slap on a slick of stress-relieving peppermint oil lip gloss.
2 (usually slicks) A race car or bicycle tire without a tread, for use in dry weather conditions.
Example sentences
  • He didn't have much time in the car before the race and going out on slicks in those conditions was a real test,’ reckoned Lockie.
  • This produced frantic activity on the grid as drivers decided whether to stay with wet tyres or change to slicks.
  • It's never much fun driving over snow or ice on slicks, although I have gained a lot of experience and confidence in this sort of situation.
3North American informal A glossy magazine.
Example sentences
  • Although the stories are not his best work, he and his agent must have been pleased to receive the higher rates that the slicks were paying.
  • Similarly the original story appeared in a slick in 1933.


1 [with object] Make (one’s hair) flat, smooth, and glossy by applying water, oil, or cream to it: his damp hair was slicked back [as adjectivein combination]: (slicked) his slicked-down hair
More example sentences
  • Her straight chin length black hair was slicked back with water, and ended at the back of her neck.
  • The water had slicked back Jess's hair, exposing the garish black-stitched scar by her left temple.
  • His hair was cutely slicked back; his eyes were bright and glossy.
smooth, sleek, grease, oil, gel
1.1Cover with a film of liquid; make wet or slippery: she woke to find her body slicked with sweat [as adjectivein combination]: (-slicked) a rain-slicked road
More example sentences
  • His body was sweat slicked and burning when she finally came back to earth.
  • It's cold, but she guesses that's probably down more to the viscous sheen of sweat slicked across her body than to the weather itself.
  • There is butter here, lots of it, and its liquid richness coats the dry-curd feta and slicks the crêpes.
2 (slick someone/something up) North American Make someone or something smart, tidy, or stylish.
Example sentences
  • She slicked her hair up, did her makeup, and ran down the stairs.
  • However, I can say after purposely firing multiple consecutive shots without swabbing the bore (under test conditions) that hot water slicked the rifle up to brand new in a few short minutes.
  • The gel ran through her fingers as she slicked her hair up.



Pronunciation: /ˈsliklē/
Example sentences
  • Jazz, Latin and classical stylings combine smoothly and slickly.
  • He is convinced that a slickly produced play reflecting the fascinating social and cultural environment of Central Australia could find a national and international audience.
  • ‘Be a part of the revolution,’ says the slickly made ad.


Pronunciation: /ˈsliknəs/
Example sentences
  • The purpose of it came to bear in making this feature, where talking, movement, primitivity, some slickness, and a recognition of the power of music all had to play big.
  • They loathe designer slickness and gloss and love accidents, imperfections, discontinuities and visible signs of process.
  • It's about context and usability, not just slickness or drama.


Middle English (in the senses 'glossy' and 'make smooth or glossy'): probably from Old English and related to Old Norse slíkr 'smooth'; compare with sleek.

  • Although it is not recorded until after the Norman Conquest, slick, originally meaning ‘glossy’ was probably in Old English as it is a Germanic word. The sense ‘plausible’ dates from the late 16th century; ‘skilful, adroit’ dates from the early 19th century. Sleek (Late Middle English) is a later variant of slick. Slight (Middle English) is related, for it originally meant ‘smooth’ although negative senses also exist in related languages. The sense ‘treat with disrespect’ is found from the late 16th century, from the earlier sense of ‘to level’. For sleekit

Words that rhyme with slick

artic, brick, chick, click, crick, flick, hand-pick, hic, hick, kick, lick, mick, miskick, nick, pic, pick, quick, rick, shtick, sic, sick, snick, stick, thick, tic, tick, trick, Vic, wick

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: slick

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