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[gree-see, ‐zee] /ˈgri si, ‐zi/
adjective, greasier, greasiest.
smeared, covered, or soiled with grease.
composed of or containing grease; oily:
greasy food.
greaselike in appearance or to the touch; slippery.
insinuatingly unctuous in manner; repulsively slick; oily.
Veterinary Pathology. affected with grease.
Origin of greasy
First recorded in 1505-15
Related forms
greasily, adverb
greasiness, noun
nongreasy, adjective
overgreasiness, noun
overgreasy, adjective
ungreasy, adjective
Pronunciation note
greasy is almost always pronounced as
[gree-zee] /ˈgri zi/ (Show IPA)
with a medial
[z] /z/
in the South Midland and Southern U.S. and as
[gree-see] /ˈgri si/
with a medial
[s] /s/
in New England, New York State, and the Great Lakes Basin. Speakers of New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania are divided, with some using
[s] /s/
and some using
[z] /z/ .
Standard British English reflects both
[z] /z/
[s] /s/
pronunciations and British folk speech is also divided regionally, with
[z] /z/
heard in the eastern counties and
[s] /s/
in the central and western ones. Both pronunciations were brought to the colonies, where the present U.S. pattern emerged. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for greasiness
Historical Examples
  • We catch his gusts of panic, his disease of nosing, his greasiness.

    Tono Bungay H. G. Wells
  • The Potawatomi women were inclined to greasiness and obesity.

    The Land of the Miamis Elmore Barce
  • The supper—some greasiness apart—was good—the wine excellent.

    The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Complete Charles James Lever (1806-1872)
  • There should be no greasiness in the sample, but when pressed between finger and thumb it must be firm and dry.

  • Sometimes the greasiness does not develop until the rubber has been out of the smoke-house for a day or two.

  • It is then immersed in plain water until the film loses all appearance of greasiness.

    Photogravure Henry R. Blaney
  • Transfer gold-leaf is convenient, but the greasiness of the transfer paper is apt to dim the gilding.

  • With a greasiness of chocolate in his mouth and the warmth of it in his stomach, John Andrews went to sleep.

    Three Soldiers John Dos Passos
  • This, by removing the greasiness of the outside, will make the icing stick on the better.

  • It is not so satisfactory, however, because of the greasiness which it leaves on the surface after evaporation.

    Typesetting A. A. Stewart
British Dictionary definitions for greasiness


/ˈɡriːzɪ; -sɪ/
adjective greasier, greasiest
coated or soiled with or as if with grease
composed of or full of grease
resembling grease
unctuous or oily in manner
noun (Austral, slang) (pl) greasies
a shearer
an outback cook, esp cooking for a number of men
Derived Forms
greasily, adverb
greasiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for greasiness



1510s, from grease + -y (2). Related: Greasily; greasiness. Greasy spoon "small cheap restaurant" is from 1925.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for greasiness



  1. Repellent in an unctuous and cunning way; oily (1529+)
  2. uddy and slippery: to negotiate a ''greasy'' mile before an approving audience (1950s+ Horse racing)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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