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adjective, oil·i·er, oil·i·est.
  1. smeared or covered with oil; greasy: an oily road surface.
  2. of the nature of, consisting of, or resembling oil.
  3. of or relating to oil.
  4. full of or containing oil.
  5. smooth or unctuous, as in manner or speech: an oily hypocrite.
  1. in an oily manner.

Origin of oily

First recorded in 1520–30; oil + -y1
Related formsoil·i·ness, nounnon·oil·y, adjectiveun·oil·y, adjective


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5. fawning, smarmy, bootlicking.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for oily


adjective oilier or oiliest
  1. soaked in or smeared with oil or grease
  2. consisting of, containing, or resembling oil
  3. flatteringly servile or obsequious
Derived Formsoilily, adverboiliness, 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

Word Origin and History for oily


1520s, from oil (n.) + -y (2). Figurative meaning "smooth, unctuous" is from 1590s. Related: Oiliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper