• synonyms


[gree-see, ‐zee]
adjective, greas·i·er, greas·i·est.
  1. smeared, covered, or soiled with grease.
  2. composed of or containing grease; oily: greasy food.
  3. greaselike in appearance or to the touch; slippery.
  4. insinuatingly unctuous in manner; repulsively slick; oily.
  5. Veterinary Pathology. affected with grease.
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Origin of greasy

First recorded in 1505–15
Related formsgreas·i·ly, adverbgreas·i·ness, nounnon·greas·y, adjectiveo·ver·greas·i·ness, nouno·ver·greas·y, adjectiveun·greas·y, adjective

Pronunciation note

greasy is almost always pronounced as [gree-zee] /ˈgri zi/, 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/ and [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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for greasiness

Historical Examples of greasiness

  • 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 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.

British Dictionary definitions for greasiness


adjective greasier or greasiest
  1. coated or soiled with or as if with grease
  2. composed of or full of grease
  3. resembling grease
  4. unctuous or oily in manner
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noun plural greasies Australian slang
  1. a shearer
  2. an outback cook, esp cooking for a number of men
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Derived Formsgreasily, adverbgreasiness, 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 greasiness



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper