• synonyms


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


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for slickest

Historical Examples

  • This gambler he was the slickest short-card player ever struck hereabouts.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • I must say that was the slickest, pluckiest thing ever I saw anywheres.

    Cy Whittaker's Place

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • He was, they decided, the "slickest" man they had ever seen.

    The Winning Clue

    James Hay, Jr.

  • "Well, that was the slickest thing I ever saw done," said Bob.

    Halsey & Co.

    H. K. Shackleford

  • It was the slickest job of the kind that has been put through in this neck of the war.

    Many Fronts

    Lewis R. Freeman

British Dictionary definitions for slickest


  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 slickest



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