See more synonyms for slicker on

Origin of slicker

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.

Origin of slicker

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.
  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.
  1. smoothly; cleverly.

Origin of slick

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

Synonyms for slick

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for slicker

Contemporary Examples of slicker

Historical Examples of slicker

  • 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
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
  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
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
Derived Formsslickly, adverbslickness, noun

Word Origin for slick

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.



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.



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.



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper