adjective, slick·er, slick·est.



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

Examples from the Web for slickest

Historical Examples of slickest

  • 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



flattering and gliba slick salesman
adroitly devised or executeda slick show
informal, mainly US and Canadian shrewd; sly
informal superficially attractivea slick publication
mainly US and Canadian smooth and glossy; slippery


a slippery area, esp a patch of oil floating on water
a chisel or other tool used for smoothing or polishing a surface
the tyre of a racing car that has worn treads

verb (tr)

mainly US and Canadian to make smooth or sleek
US and Canadian informal (usually foll by up) to smarten or tidy (oneself)
(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 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.



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