Definition of icky in English:


adjectiveickier, ickiest

  • 1Unpleasantly sticky.

    • ‘After a bunch of hot, humid, icky sticky days, it was pure bliss.’
    • ‘She was covered from head to foot with icky brown mud and her hair was sticking up on all ends.’
    • ‘It's grey outside, it's stopped raining, but by god it would be nice if it could start again, just to take some of the nasty icky wet hot stickiness away.’
    sticky, sticking, adhering, adherent, clinging, tacky, gluey, gummy, gummed, cohesive, viscous, viscid, glutinous, mucilaginous
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Nasty or unpleasant.
      ‘the kids were eating something icky’
      • ‘These were nasty, icky, muddy things with hair at the bottom.’
      • ‘At ten, boys were supposed to be afraid of girls and think that they were icky, and then at puberty, boys would start liking girls.’
      • ‘Before that the last Tawa-related story I can remember was when the pool had to be closed, along with most other WCC pools, because of some icky stomach virus that was going round.’
      • ‘Maybe after you find out my blood is ‘way too sticky’ or ‘full of icky crud’ you can use a flashlight to shoot photons through my life systems.’
      • ‘Both the front and rear speakers are engaged constantly and consistently - there are enough icky, gooey effects to satisfy even the most discerning horror fan.’
      • ‘But you can use an over-the-counter active zinc oxide product, like Novitra, to cut your healing time and help sores look less icky!’
      • ‘Yes, inside, we are all disgusting, we all have icky pulsing organs, kilometres of revolting intestine, goo-dispensing glands, and all the other horrible bits and pieces God saw fit to stock us with.’
      • ‘Since Nov. 2, I've had an icky feeling in the pit of my stomach.’
      • ‘Why couldn't it be like the good old days where I thought boys were icky and all that jazz?’
      • ‘It's hard to ascribe the more extreme hatred directed toward her as anything besides, at best, bitterness, and at worst something much more icky.’
      • ‘In a relationship, is a big generation gap inherently icky?’
      • ‘In a matter of a couple of months, dating had taken me back to grade school when all boys were icky and cooties were a very real threat.’
      • ‘In between the papillae are grooves where food and bacteria can collect, turning your tongue white and your breath icky (bleck).’
      • ‘And then there are the clams themselves, what with their icky clam foot sticking out of their shell like a tongue of a lecherous mutant.’
      • ‘As always, muchas gracias to the folks at P.S.122 and Culturebot, those who performed, and the people who rolled out on such an icky, rainy night to see us.’
      • ‘It should be icky and yucky, but actually it's got bags of fun and loads of laughs, with a very cutely judged moment of pathos as Stuart has to drive home from school on his own in his little roadster, because no human kid wants to play with him.’
      • ‘Instead, though, it's a muddier tale that seems to be trying to expose the icky, money-grubbing soul of the children's entertainment business.’
      • ‘Constantly, I desired to bury that icky nasty no-good feeling.’
      • ‘I don't think it's icky at all, it's a human being.’
      • ‘Boys are so icky but also strangely interesting to me.’
      unpleasant, disagreeable, disgusting, distasteful, awful, dreadful, horrible, terrible, vile, foul, abominable, frightful, loathsome, revolting, repulsive, odious, sickening, nauseating, nauseous, repellent, repugnant, horrendous, hideous, appalling, atrocious, offensive, objectionable, obnoxious, unpalatable, unsavoury, unappetizing, off-putting, uninviting, dirty, filthy, squalid
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Distastefully sentimental.
      ‘a romantic subplot that is just plain icky’
      • ‘She has never had the best endings, and the love scenes were icky and rather anticlimactic, but it was much funnier than the previous books, where you sometimes got the impression that she was trying a little too desperately.’
      • ‘Diana's estate sues them because… well, it's kitsch and tacky and maudlin and icky, isn't it?’
      • ‘She smiled a sticky, icky, saccharine smile at us and pulled out the pencil from her ear.’
      • ‘The genre was known for its urbane disinclination to perform any icky operations involving hearts: pouring them out, for instance, or affixing them to sleeves.’
      • ‘Damn I need to stay away from mom, between her and Kristen reading me passages out of her mushy icky, teen romance novels.’
      mawkish, over-sentimental, overemotional, cloying, sickly, saccharine, sugary, sugar-coated, syrupy
      View synonyms


1930s: perhaps related to sick or to the child's word ickle.