slea·​zy | \ ˈslē-zē How to pronounce sleazy (audio) also ˈslā- \
sleazier; sleaziest

Definition of sleazy

1a : lacking firmness of texture : flimsy
b : carelessly made of inferior materials : shoddy
2a : marked by low character or quality sleazy tabloids
b : squalid, dilapidated sleazy bars

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Other Words from sleazy

sleazily \ ˈslē-​zə-​lē How to pronounce sleazily (audio) also  ˈslā-​ \ adverb
sleaziness \ ˈslē-​zē-​nəs How to pronounce sleaziness (audio) also  ˈslā-​ \ noun

Synonyms for sleazy


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Examples of sleazy in a Sentence

a dancer in a sleazy outfit a sleazy lothario who is always on the make
Recent Examples on the Web The 2016 election in Rodham turns out to be a contest between a sleazy Bill with his neoliberal platform and a respectable Hillary with a similar offering. Laura Marsh, The New Republic, "The Flawed Fantasy of a Different Hillary Clinton," 19 May 2020 Three miserable divorcées, who used to be college pals, band together to get revenge on their sleazy exes. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "The Best Classic Films on Netflix Right Now," 19 Mar. 2020 Public consultations drag on, land is a nightmare to acquire, bureaucrats block licences and sleazier ministers wonder what is in it for them. The Economist, "Banyan Indonesia’s government wants to get on with China in private," 13 Feb. 2020 During its fall 2020 presentation, the Italian brand Brioni, not known for outfitting sleazy fist-pumpers, showed a classically cut leather button-up. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Can I Wear a Leather Shirt Without Looking Smarmy?," 29 Jan. 2020 In this case, that includes his interactions with a sleazy celebrity (Chris D'Elia) who, the evidence suggests, might harbor an unhealthy interest in young girls. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'You' Season 2 stalks onto Netflix with a new twisted romance," 26 Dec. 2019 Boynton and Balaban both have moments that made me laugh and Dylan McDermott, as the ultra-sleazy father of Boynton's character, continues a welcome mid-career pivot into smarmy comic excellence. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Politician': TV Review," 23 Sep. 2019 There is a great deal of behavior that may be immoral, unethical or sleazy — and impeachable — without violating the criminal law. Randall D. Eliason, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: G-7 summit at Doral might not have been a crime, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be corrupt," 21 Oct. 2019 Legally, Mr Biden junior’s sleazy dealings in Ukraine have no bearing on whether Mr Trump abused his office. The Economist, "The promise and the perils of impeachment," 26 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sleazy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sleazy

circa 1645, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sleazy

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for sleazy

Time Traveler

The first known use of sleazy was circa 1645

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Statistics for sleazy

Last Updated

15 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sleazy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for sleazy


How to pronounce sleazy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sleazy

: dishonest or immoral
: dirty and in bad condition from being neglected
: not decent or socially respectable

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More from Merriam-Webster on sleazy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sleazy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sleazy

Spanish Central: Translation of sleazy

Nglish: Translation of sleazy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sleazy for Arabic Speakers

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