\ ˈslik How to pronounce slick (audio) \
slicker; slickest

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)

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

Other Words from slick


slickly adverb
slickness noun

Synonyms for slick

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

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

Adjective 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. Verb The rain slicked the roads. slicking the bottom of their skis with wax See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Gold jewelry and hair pieces by the jeweler Soulle, and tan and white brogue shoes were slick, too. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 4 May 2022 The obVus delivers on that, thanks to a slick and light design that also allows for a range of working positions. Thomas Hindle, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Apr. 2022 Roads may be slick during the early Wednesday commute, especially in rural areas where any moisture left on the roads from Tuesday could freeze over. oregonlive, 5 Apr. 2022 And with directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra at the helm, not to mention a handsome budget to recreate Adam’s love of excess, the series is undeniably slick. Caroline Framke, Variety, 12 Mar. 2022 Fayetteville police said city streets were slick and the department worked a dozen accidents by 10:30 a.m. Tom Sissom, Arkansas Online, 12 Mar. 2022 No significant amounts out there though, but just enough to make roads that aren't treated to be very slick. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 16 Feb. 2022 Roads in some areas are snow-packed from the winter storm, while roads that have been cleared still may be slick throughout the county, according to meteorologists and first responders. Sarah Nelson, The Indianapolis Star, 4 Feb. 2022 The green dialed timepiece masterfully incorporates slick design along with superb materials tailored perfectly for those who appreciate both luxury and performance. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The wig application took about 40 minutes, Ballard says, while Biel's hair was completely flattened with GafQuat, a strong hold pomade used to slick hair back. Ana Escalante, Glamour, 17 May 2022 The best part: The crampon-like aluminum bars stick to slick rock like Velcro. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, 17 Apr. 2015 And fastening them to slick hides requires massive pins that may harm the animals. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 8 Dec. 2021 Then, Raleigh would slick down and paint over Owen’s bushy eyebrows and glue the prosthesis on with silicone adhesive. Dan Reilly, Vulture, 21 Oct. 2021 For those rocking shorter hair, pomades are an excellent styling product that can shape and slick down hair with ease. Sarah Han, Allure, 6 Aug. 2021 Better to slick it with oil before cooking to crisp it up, then brush with a flavorful glaze. Beth Dooley Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 16 June 2021 Le Mindu styled this lace wig atop Booster's head, using hair gel and sugar spray to slick it just so. Allure Editors, Allure, 15 July 2021 Tokyo Perfect Repair Treatment Masque to slick back second or third-day hair for extra moisture, or try using clips or headbands to hide any grease. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, 28 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As for the rest of her face, cheeks were kept soft with washes of nude pink and peach, while lips were enhanced with a slick of warm matte pink, usually L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Fairest Nude. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 29 Apr. 2022 Balls used in Japan have a slightly tacky surface, so no need for mudding, nor for pitchers to use resin to kill the slick. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 May 2022 In addition to some makeup essentials, such as filling in her brows, applying mascara, and a slick of lip gloss, Boru always tries to get henna done just before Eid. Alicia Vrajlal,, 1 May 2022 This whole project has been a fun way to go about my pantry, finding value where others only see a murky slick destined for the dump. Maggie Lange, Bon Appétit, 26 Apr. 2022 Then, in 2018, a toxic algae bloom the size of Connecticut turned the Florida Gulf Coast into a slick of dead fish. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 11 Apr. 2022 But the Hawks turned away the Ducks rally when Kane made a slick backhand pass to a streaking Strome for his 14th goal with 5:10 left in the second. Jay Cohen,, 9 Mar. 2022 After Shesterkin denied Arthur Kaliyev in the sixth round, Fox roofed a slick backhand that stuck in the net to win it. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, 25 Jan. 2022 After Shesterkin denied Arthur Kaliyev in the sixth round, Fox roofed a slick backhand that stuck in the net to win it. Vin A. Cherwoo,, 24 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About slick

Time Traveler for slick

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near slick



slick back/down

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Statistics for slick

Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Slick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for slick


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on slick

Nglish: Translation of slick for Spanish Speakers

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


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