Definition of oil slick in US English:

oil slick


  • A film or layer of oil floating on an expanse of water, especially one that has leaked or been discharged from a ship.

    • ‘I now know I was found floating face down in an oil slick.’
    • ‘The search for the family, which had concentrated on an oil slick off the coast of Northern Ireland, was abandoned yesterday afternoon after only floating timber was found in the area.’
    • ‘Four miles from Kilkeel off the coast of County Down in Northern Ireland, there is a fresh oil slick on the water.’
    • ‘The wreck was found four miles off Little Ross Island 14 metre under water near Little Ross Lighthouse after a small oil slick was spotted.’
    • ‘At approximately two o'clock in the afternoon the PSC fishermen and their boat captain noticed a large amount of debris and an oil slick in the waters where they were fishing.’
    • ‘The oil slick contaminated about three kilometres of waterway killing about 150 sticklebacks - small fish renowned for being tolerant to pollution - a seagull and a duck.’
    • ‘If the oil slick isn't too thin, and if it's contained with a fire-resistant boom, workers can set it on fire.’
    • ‘An oil slick was seen in the mouth of Carlingford Lough and the search concentrated in this area for a while, but nothing was found.’
    • ‘Animal welfare experts were last night cleaning about 200 swans rescued from an oil slick in a city centre marina.’
    • ‘Aside from a few small sections of wood and an oil slick, there was no sign of the boat, or anything resembling the relaxing night they had just enjoyed.’
    • ‘Just when it looked like it might be safe to go back in the water, an oil slick washed up on the beach.’
    • ‘Three months later, a Coast Guard helicopter on patrol noticed an oil slick around the vessel and swung into action to contain the pollution.’
    • ‘As far as I could see, the oil slick was no longer there.’
    • ‘The men on OPV also demonstrated a ‘pollution response exercise’, by spraying chemicals to contain an imaginary oil slick.’
    • ‘The Environment Agency took urgent action recently, to clean up an oil slick on the Duke of Northumberland's River, in Isleworth.’
    • ‘Around Pramuka and Panggang islets, an oil slick with a radius of 50 meters was observed.’
    • ‘Rescue teams also temporarily relocated 20,000 additional penguins from an island in the oil slick's path.’
    • ‘A rescue operation was launched to save wildlife after an oil slick contaminated part of the Manchester ship canal.’
    • ‘Search teams last night reported finding an oil slick and the coastguard said a pair of shoes and an anorak were found in the water.’
    • ‘Westport Town Council has not ruled out the possibility of legal action as a result of an oil slick, which adversely affected the Carrowbeg River recently.’


oil slick

/ˈoil ˌslik//ˈɔɪl ˌslɪk/