adjective, sleek·er, sleek·est.

smooth or glossy, as hair, an animal, etc.
well-fed or well-groomed.
trim and graceful; finely contoured; streamlined: a sleek sports car.
smooth in manners, speech, etc.; suave.
cleverly or deceitfully skillful; slick: a sleek confidence man.

Origin of sleek

First recorded in 1580–90; variant of slick1
Related formssleek·ly, adverbsleek·ness, noun

Synonyms for sleek



or sleek·en

[sleek or slee-kuh n]

verb (used with object)

to make sleek; smooth; slick: to sleek leather.

Origin of sleek

1400–50; late Middle English sleken, variant of slick2
Related formssleek·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sleek

polished, glistening, shiny, silky, satin, glassy, lustrous, silken

Examples from the Web for sleek

Contemporary Examples of sleek

Historical Examples of sleek

  • And Mr. Beaufort patted the sleek neck of his favourite hunter.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • His complexion was pale and sodden, and his hair short, dark, and sleek.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Men led up the sleek cattle to be slain for the feast of the gods.

  • "That's part of my business," he heard Burnham say in his sleek, oleaginous accents.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • With these steeds, so well fitted for hunting, were twelve sleek, fleet hounds.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

British Dictionary definitions for sleek



smooth and shiny; polished
polished in speech or behaviour; unctuous
(of an animal or bird) having a shiny healthy coat or feathers
(of a person) having a prosperous appearance

verb (tr)

to make smooth and glossy, as by grooming, etc
(usually foll by over) to cover (up), as by making more agreeable; gloss (over)
Derived Formssleekly, adverbsleekness, nounsleeky, adjective

Word Origin for sleek

C16: variant of slick
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 sleek

1580s, variant of Middle English slike (see slick (adj.)). Originally of healthy-looking animal hair; applied to persons 1630s, with sense of "plump and smooth-skinned." Figurative meaning "slick, fawning, flattering" is from 1590s.


"make sleek," mid-15c., a variant of slick (v.). Related: Sleeked; sleeking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper