\ ˈslik How to pronounce slick (audio) \

Definition of slick

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : having a smooth surface : slippery slick wet leaves
b : having surface plausibility or appeal : glossy slick advertising
c : based on stereotype : trite slick stories soon forgotten
2a : characterized by subtlety or nimble wit : clever especially : wily a slick swindler
b : deft, skillful a slick ballplayer
3 : extremely good : first-rate
4 archaic : sleek sense 1


slicked; slicking; slicks

Definition of slick (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

: to make sleek or smooth

intransitive verb

: spruce usually used with up



Definition of slick (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : something that is smooth or slippery especially : a smooth patch of water covered with a film of oil
b : a film of oil
2 : an automobile tire made without a tread for maximum traction (as in drag racing)
3 : an implement for producing a smooth or slick surface
4 : a shrewd untrustworthy person
5 : a popular magazine printed on coated stock and intended to appeal to sophisticated readers
6 slang : a military helicopter without armaments that is used to transport troops or light cargo



Definition of slick (Entry 4 of 4)

informal, dated
: in a smooth or clever manner "I must say they did it slick enough. They were old hands at the business."— Jack London

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from slick


slick adverb
slickly adverb
slickness noun

Synonyms for slick

Synonyms: Adjective

greased, greasy, lubricated, oiled, slicked, slippery, slippy, slithery

Synonyms: Verb

grease, lubricate, oil, wax

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for slick


sleek, slick, glossy mean having a smooth bright surface or appearance. sleek suggests a smoothness or brightness resulting from attentive grooming or physical conditioning. a sleek racehorse slick suggests extreme smoothness that results in a slippery surface. slipped and fell on the slick floor glossy suggests a highly reflective surface. photographs having a glossy finish

sly, cunning, crafty, wily, tricky, foxy, artful, slick mean attaining or seeking to attain one's ends by guileful or devious means. sly implies furtiveness, lack of candor, and skill in concealing one's aims and methods. a sly corporate raider cunning suggests the inventive use of sometimes limited intelligence in overreaching or circumventing. the cunning fox avoided the trap crafty implies cleverness and subtlety of method. a crafty lefthander wily implies skill and deception in maneuvering. the wily fugitive escaped the posse tricky is more likely to suggest shiftiness and unreliability than skill in deception and maneuvering. a tricky political operative foxy implies a shrewd and wary craftiness usually involving devious dealing. a foxy publicity man planting stories artful implies indirectness in dealing and often connotes sophistication or cleverness. elicited the information by artful questioning slick emphasizes smoothness and guile. slick operators selling time-sharing

Examples of slick in a Sentence


Be careful as you drive home—the roads are slick. big corporations and their slick lawyers The new kid had some slick moves on the basketball court. The students did a slick job of promoting the concert. The video game has slick graphics.


The rain slicked the roads. slicking the bottom of their skis with wax
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

While the Rimowa is an ultra-slick take on the conventional hard-case, Uzi’s bag of choice is much more unusual: a candy-striped, square Versace purse from the colorful and geometric Spring 2019 collection. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Lil Uzi Vert’s Versace Carry-On Is the Stuff of Fashion Dreams," 14 May 2019 The body looks slick, with a new and thoroughly modern appearance that's much more in keeping with the modern style of truck: high belt line, smaller windows and chunkier style. Aaron Bragman, USA TODAY, "Review: Ford's revamped Expedition SUV moves to the front of the pack," 13 July 2018 The new design looks slick, with the traditional three white stripes of adidas running along the shoulders and a neat v-neck collar., "PHOTO: adidas Selling New Leicester Home Shirt Online Before Club Unveil the Fresh Strip," 11 May 2018 Mind you, big, slick, and ripe for replication can have its charms, too. Brett Martin, GQ, "GQ's Best New Restaurants in America, 2018," 23 Apr. 2018 Director Nicolai Fuglsig has a background as a combat photographer, but he’s been drawn into the stylistic orbit of producer Jerry Bruckheimer, so the movie is glossy and slick, and generally designed to make combat look video-game awesome. Gary Thompson,, "'12 Strong': Chris Hemsworth's Afghan cavalry flick turns out to be a decent yarn," 17 Jan. 2018 See the not-so-slick move for yourself above, from Daily Mail's video. Marisa Russell, Woman's Day, "Man Releases A Rat In A Restaurant Just So He Doesn't Have To Pay The Bill," 23 Mar. 2015 Some roads are sure to be slick, many schools are canceled or delayed, and some bus lines are canceled or detoured because of road conditions., "Snow in Portland: Everything you need to know for Wednesday," 21 Feb. 2018 The movie is sometimes slick (the musical cues are pretty lame) to a fault — just like Skiles. Gary Thompson,, "'Beirut': Jon Hamm is in his sweet spot in this slick thriller," 10 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The stylist left Washington's baby hairs conspicuously un-slicked, invoking a mood of bohemian glamor. Jihan Forbes, Allure, "Allure’s Hair Editor Shares Her Top 5 Edge Controls and How to Use Them," 28 May 2019 Rather than readying for an evening out by combing lengths into one of her signature slicked midi-knots, Hadid opted for something slightly less done, her hair scraped back with fingers, leaving ample texture in their wake. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Bella Hadid Pairs the Perfect Windswept Updo With an All-White Puffer," 23 Oct. 2018 Back in 2010, when prep and heritage were still big, Disick was known for sporting Gordon Gekko-esque slicked back hair and a clean shaven face. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "Scott Disick's New Look Is Straight Out of 1978," 15 Feb. 2018 The makeup mogul also donned long blonde locks that were slicked back into a ponytail. Morgan M. Evans, Fox News, "Kylie Jenner's 21st bash shut down by cops; Instagram model wheeled out on stretcher," 11 Aug. 2018 Salemme, who headed the New England family of La Costa Nostra in the early 1990s, was sitting at a table with his lawyers several feet away, with slicked-back wisps of grey hair, a brown jacket and blue tie. Washington Post, "The Rifleman takes stand against ex-New England Mafia boss," 6 June 2018 For his upcoming film The Beach Bum, Zac has been sporting a tousled ‘do with blonde highlights, slicked up and often held in place with a brightly colored sports band. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Zac Efron's Hair for "The Beach Bum" Was Inspired By a Panini," 16 Mar. 2019 Kim opted for a slicked-back, almost wet look hairdo and a dramatic eye to complement her look and the futuristic theme of the 2016 Met Gala, Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jennifer Lopez's Oscar Gown Might Have Been Inspired By Kim Kardashian," 25 Feb. 2019 In his temporary role as Fred Andrews, KJ has ditched Archie's infamous red hair, and instead wears a very slicked back 'do. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Here’s Your First Look at the “Riverdale” Cast in the Upcoming Throwback Episode," 16 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Evgeny Kuznetsov was able to control the puck and made a slick pass to Wilson, who scored from a sharp angle. Noah Trister, The Seattle Times, "Capitals rally in third to edge Red Wings 3-2," 6 Jan. 2019 The big changes, says Cara Adams, chief engineer for Bridgestone Americas Motorsports of Firestone Racing, came with the shift to radial construction, slicks, and the eventual widening of the rubber. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Gaining Speed: A History of the Indy 500 Racing Tire," 24 May 2019 Sporting a black cape, yellow shirt, and gripping a mysterious purple cup flowing with steam, the slick-looking Calrissian steps to the podium at a beachfront hotel on the planet Naboo to address race in space. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, "Watch Donald Glover's Lando Calrissian Host 'Galactic Summit For All Black Humans' on 'SNL'," 6 May 2018 The Buttery Skin makeup look is all about layering makeup on your skin for the appearance of slick, smooth texture and natural sheen. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Physicians Formula Just Dropped Murumuru Baby Butter Box, a Super-Affordable Makeup Kit," 19 Apr. 2019 Las Vegas is enticing a different crowd these days with high-end art installations, buzzy restaurants, and now, a slick The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails out of the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails Opens at the Cosmopolitan," 20 Mar. 2019 Futuristic Hair Is More Sculptural (and Shiny!) Than Ever Individual texture has, at long last, become a runway mainstay, and Proenza Schouler's parade of futuristic, hyper-individual slick backs felt refreshingly raw. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "9 Beauty Trends That Blew Up on the Fall 2019 Runways," 8 Mar. 2019 Behind the big pushrod V8 is a superb seven-speed manual gearbox, with a heavy clutch and a slick, notchless gate (an eight-speed automatic, pictured here, is also available). Dan Neil, WSJ, "2019 Corvette ZR1: The Last, and Best, of Its Kind," 28 Nov. 2018 Still, Sean Kuraly found some open ice in front of Andersen and fired in a one-timer off of Matt Grzelcyk’s slick back-handed feed with less than three minutes to go in the second. Tyler Horka,, "Stanley Cup Playoffs Roundup: Toronto Stops Late Surge From Boston to Force Game 6," 21 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of slick


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for slick


Middle English slyke; akin to Old English *slician


Middle English sliken, from Old English *slician; akin to Old High German slīhhan to glide

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about slick

Statistics for slick

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for slick

The first known use of slick was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for slick



English Language Learners Definition of slick

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: very smooth and slippery
: clever in usually a dishonest or deceptive way
: skillful and clever



English Language Learners Definition of slick (Entry 2 of 3)

: to make (something) smooth and slippery



English Language Learners Definition of slick (Entry 3 of 3)

: a thin layer of liquid that makes a surface very slippery
: a smooth tire that is used in car racing


\ ˈslik How to pronounce slick (audio) \
slicked; slicking

Kids Definition of slick

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make sleek or smooth He slicked his hair.



Kids Definition of slick (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having a smooth surface : slippery slick pavement
2 : tricky sense 2 a slick salesman
3 : having skill and cleverness She made some slick moves during the game.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on slick

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slick

Spanish Central: Translation of slick

Nglish: Translation of slick for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slick for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about slick

Comments on slick

What made you want to look up slick? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!