adjective, ick·i·er, ick·i·est. Informal.

repulsive or distasteful.
excessively sweet or sentimental.
unsophisticated or old-fashioned.
sticky; viscid.

Origin of icky

An Americanism dating back to 1930–35; of uncertain origin
Related formsick·i·ness, noun

Synonyms for icky

1. revolting, nasty. 3. gummy, gooey, gucky.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of ickiness

British Dictionary definitions for ickiness


adjective ickier or ickiest

excessively sentimental or emotional
Derived Formsickiness, 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 ickiness



1935, American English, probably from icky-boo (c.1920) "sickly, nauseated," probably baby talk elaboration of sick. Originally a swing lover's term for more sentimental jazz music; in general use from 1938.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper