[ oi-lee ]
/ ˈɔɪ li /

adjective, oil·i·er, oil·i·est.

smeared or covered with oil; greasy: an oily road surface.
of the nature of, consisting of, or resembling oil.
of or relating to oil.
full of or containing oil.
smooth or unctuous, as in manner or speech: an oily hypocrite.


in an oily manner.

Nearby words

  1. oilskin,
  2. oilskins,
  3. oilspot glaze,
  4. oilstone,
  5. oiltight,
  6. oink,
  7. oinochoe,
  8. ointment,
  9. oir,
  10. oireachtas

Origin of oily

First recorded in 1520–30; oil + -y1

5. fawning, smarmy, bootlicking.

Related formsoil·i·ness, nounnon·oil·y, adjectiveun·oil·y, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oily

British Dictionary definitions for oily


/ (ˈɔɪlɪ) /

adjective oilier or oiliest

soaked in or smeared with oil or grease
consisting of, containing, or resembling oil
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