• synonyms


See more synonyms for slicker on Thesaurus.com
  1. a long, loose oilskin raincoat.
  2. any raincoat.
  3. Informal.
    1. a swindler; a sly cheat.
    2. city slicker.
Show More

Origin of slicker1

First recorded in 1880–85; slick1 + -er1
Related formsslick·ered, adjective


  1. a tool, usually of stone or glass, for scraping, smoothing, and working tanning agents into a skin or hide.
Show More

Origin of slicker2

First recorded in 1850–55; slick2 + -er1


adjective, slick·er, slick·est.
  1. smooth and glossy; sleek.
  2. smooth in manners, speech, etc.; suave.
  3. sly; shrewdly adroit: He's a slick customer, all right.
  4. ingenious; cleverly devised: a slick plan to get out of work.
  5. slippery, especially from being covered with or as if with ice, water, or oil.
  6. deftly executed and having surface appeal or sophistication, but shallow or glib in content; polished but superficial; glib: a writer who has mastered every formula of slick fiction.
  7. Slang. wonderful; remarkable; first-rate.
Show More
  1. a smooth or slippery place or spot or the substance causing it: oil slick.
  2. Informal.
    1. a magazine printed on paper having a more or less glossy finish.
    2. such a magazine regarded as possessing qualities, as expensiveness, chic, and sophistication, that hold appeal for a particular readership, as one whose members enjoy or are seeking affluence.
    3. such a magazine regarded as having a sophisticated, deftly executed, but shallow or glib literary content.Compare pulp(def 6).
  3. any of various paddlelike tools for smoothing a surface.
  4. Automotive. a wide tire without a tread, used in racing.
  5. Military Slang. a helicopter.
Show More
  1. smoothly; cleverly.
Show More

Origin of slick1

1300–50; Middle English slike (adj.); cognate with dialectal Dutch sleek even, smooth; akin to slick2
Related formsslick·ly, adverbslick·ness, noun


See more synonyms for slick on Thesaurus.com
3. wily, tricky, foxy, sharp.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for slicker

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Gosh, I jist fooled him out of his two dollars slicker 'n a whistle.

  • Lance stooped indifferently to untie his slicker and blanket from the saddle.

    Rim o' the World

    B. M. Bower

  • The inside of her was slicker'n any parlor car you ever saw.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • She folded the slicker lengthwise and threw it across her shoulder.

    The Wrong Woman

    Charles D. Stewart

  • Then she put up a lunch and stowed it in the pocket of her slicker.

    The Wrong Woman

    Charles D. Stewart

British Dictionary definitions for slicker


  1. informal a sly or untrustworthy person (esp in the phrase city slicker)
  2. US and Canadian a shiny raincoat, esp an oilskin
  3. a small trowel used for smoothing the surfaces of a mould
Show More
Derived Formsslickered, adjective


  1. flattering and gliba slick salesman
  2. adroitly devised or executeda slick show
  3. informal, mainly US and Canadian shrewd; sly
  4. informal superficially attractivea slick publication
  5. mainly US and Canadian smooth and glossy; slippery
Show More
  1. a slippery area, esp a patch of oil floating on water
  2. a chisel or other tool used for smoothing or polishing a surface
  3. the tyre of a racing car that has worn treads
Show More
verb (tr)
  1. mainly US and Canadian to make smooth or sleek
  2. US and Canadian informal (usually foll by up) to smarten or tidy (oneself)
  3. (often foll by up) to make smooth or glossy
Show More
Derived Formsslickly, adverbslickness, noun

Word Origin

C14: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Icelandic, Norwegian slikja to be or make smooth
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 slicker


1851, "tool for smoothing leather," from slick (v.). Meaning "waterproof raincoat" is from 1884; sense of "clever and crafty person" is from 1900.

Show More



Old English -slician (in nigslicod "newly made sleek"), from Proto-Germanic *slikojan, from base *slikaz (cf. Old Norse slikr "smooth," Old High German slihhan "to glide," German schleichen "to creep, crawl, sneak," Dutch slijk "mud, mire"), from PIE *sleig- "to smooth, glide, be muddy," from root *(s)lei- "slimy" (see slime (n.)). Related: Slicked; slicking.

Show More



1620s, a kind of cosmetic, from slick (v.). Meaning "smooth place on the surface of water caused by oil, etc." is attested from 1849. Meaning "a swindler, clever person" is attested from 1959.

Show More



early 14c., "smooth, glossy, sleek" (of skin or hair); sense of "clever in deception" is first recorded 1590s; that of "first-class, excellent" is from 1833. Related: Slickly; slickness.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper