Definition of slick in US English:

slick

adjective

  • 1(of an action or thing) done or operating in an impressively smooth, efficient, and apparently effortless way.

    ‘a slick piece of software’
    • ‘It is a slick piece of work, more like a product of Madison Avenue than staid Capitol Hill.’
    • ‘Bolt operation is as slick and smooth as any factory rifle you're ever likely to encounter.’
    • ‘It had become a very slick operation and everyone seemed delighted.’
    • ‘Today's pirates are slick professional operations filling Britain's airwaves with everything from street music to extreme political messages.’
    • ‘The game features a fairly slick damage location model, allowing you to blow the heads and limbs off zombies with well-aimed shots.’
    • ‘In times of sophisticated technological warfare, our military needs to be a highly-skilled, highly-trained and slick operation.’
    • ‘A slick piece of indie rock, it showcases Hayes' soulful voice through a string of songs tinged with sadness yet which are ultimately uplifting.’
    • ‘The ergonomics of the grip are just right and the no-grip-screw installation is slick efficient and innovative.’
    • ‘With his slick passing, perfect timing and ability to off-load in the tackle, he set up two of Jauzion's three tries.’
    • ‘Few anime operations have developed the slick marketing skills necessary to take on the giants of U.S. entertainment.’
    • ‘The five-speed manual gearbox is pretty nifty, slick and smooth to use.’
    • ‘The Hartlepool-born youngster has been capped by England at under-18 level and is noted for his slick passing.’
    • ‘The slick bolt operation, short bolt lift and bolt throw and smooth in-line feeding made for fast follow-up shots.’
    • ‘The champions were a class apart in this contest, and the unfortunate Salthill had no answers to their power, their swift movement or their slick passing.’
    • ‘From a corporate sense, this is a slick piece of work.’
    • ‘The Foundling Hospital was, apart from anything else, an exceptionally slick operation.’
    • ‘There's not one slick piece of editing or camera work that doesn't serve the story.’
    • ‘Brazil's slick passing game gathered pace, helped by Turkey's defensive errors, but the score was unchanged at halftime.’
    • ‘Py's stagecraft, with its rolling trolleys, red curtains and golded frames like religious icons, is slick and efficient, but not dazzling.’
    • ‘It was a slick, professional operation, alright.’
    efficient, smooth, smooth-running, polished, well organized, well run, streamlined
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Smooth and superficially impressive but insincere or shallow.
      ‘the brands are backed by slick advertising’
      ‘he's a slick con man’
      • ‘I knew that the biotechnology industry had been pouring money into opposing the initiative with slick advertisements and tricky sound bites.’
      • ‘Yet it is never slick or glib; instead, it exudes a guileless, homespun warmth.’
      • ‘Far from being slick and superficial, it is, he says, a natural empathy with the listener which wins their sympathy and support and shows the best side of the politician.’
      • ‘Sarah is too smart to be taken in by the humble doorstep salesman, too cynical to fall for slick advertising patter.’
      • ‘Concentrate on the content and information presentation as opposed to advertising and slick sales copy.’
      • ‘We can spend our lives dallying in false advertising and slick brochures about barren land and cheap trinkets and never for a moment wince at the dishonesty of it.’
      • ‘Many believe that revival comes through slick advertisements and extensive planning.’
      • ‘Toy sellers say scenes of desperate dads fighting over limited edition action figures hyped by slick advertising campaigns have also been uncommon this year.’
      • ‘But this effort is based on action, not slick advertising.’
      • ‘Cosmetic surgeons can find themselves in similar situations when they mix professional credibility with slick advertising.’
      • ‘We encounter the photos like magazine advertisements, or slick campaign billboards selling women's perfume or trips to happier places than Sofia.’
      • ‘Please don't abandon that heritage in the interest of a slick format and additional advertising space.’
      • ‘He makes use of slick advertising, juiced-up commercial colors, and spanking-clean light.’
      • ‘Shoppers are being warned not to be suckered into buying computers and other IT gear just on the back of slick advertising.’
      • ‘With enough money in the war chest, the conventional wisdom goes, populist approval can be won with slick advertising.’
      • ‘Don't be fooled by the slick advertising and deceptively impressive hardware and launch titles.’
      • ‘They spend big on advertising and have a slick website that lets people either choose from a range of preconfigured systems or design their own.’
      • ‘In the bid to eliminate the estate tax, anti-repeal forces have used slick advertising, explicit falsehoods and deception.’
      • ‘Mass amounts of this innocuous beverage flooded the market and, backed by slick advertising campaigns and the lure of good cheap wine, few could resist the bait.’
      glib, smooth, fluent, plausible, neat, pat, superficial
      View synonyms
  • 2(of skin or hair) smooth and glossy.

    ‘a dandy-looking dude with a slick black ponytail’
    • ‘He was tall with black, slick hair and brown eyes.’
    • ‘I wear my slick black hair in an elastic band threaded with red dice charms.’
    • ‘His straight slick hair shone like silver in the moonlight.’
    • ‘Maria soon returned with her father, a burly man with a curled black mustache and slick hair.’
    • ‘At supper she grinned at her stepfather, who triumphantly swept back his slick hair.’
    shiny, glossy, shining, sleek, smooth, silky, silken
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 (of a surface) smooth, wet, and slippery.
      ‘she tumbled back against the slick, damp wall’
      • ‘The few other people that were there watched in confusion as he soared across the slick surface and crashed into the wall.’
      • ‘It skidded across the slick surface and fell off the other side with a sickly thunk.’
      • ‘Dark clouds loomed over the lake, and the first drops of rain hit with fat plops on the slick surface.’
      • ‘They are not aware that the cold weather has created a slick surface in the shade of a toolbox.’
      • ‘We get out and shuffle cautiously on the slick surface.’
      slippery, slithery, wet, greasy, oily, icy, glassy, smooth
      View synonyms

noun

  • 1An oil slick.

    • ‘A Thai Navy helicopter was used to identify the extent of the oil spill and the direction that currents were carrying the slick.’
    • ‘Vice Admiral Jamnong said that patrol boats have been relocated to patrol the area and helicopters are flying twice a day to report on the movements of the slick.’
    • ‘In the last couple of days new slicks have been spotted off the northern coast of Asturias and the area has been put on high alert.’
    • ‘They were covered head to toe in crude oil from a massive slick that had formed over the site of the sinking.’
    • ‘When they spotted an oil/petrol slick, the area was marked.’
    • ‘‘We're monitoring the evolution of the slicks both where the tanker sank as well as around the coast of Galicia,’ he said.’
    • ‘The slick couldn't have happened at a worst time as the ‘tourist season’ has arrived and with a dirty beach they fear losing business revenue.’
    • ‘On Friday, with a 50 ft crack in the hull trailing a 10-mile slick, the Greek captain was arrested.’
    • ‘Just as frightening, and equally lethal, is the summer equivalent - a slick of engine oil on the road and a slight drizzle on top.’
    • ‘I informed the pilot there was a large slick of engine oil down the starboard pylon.’
    • ‘Nicholls was competing in France in 2002 when the slick from the oil tanker Prestige hit the beach.’
  • 2A small smear or patch of a glossy or wet substance, especially a cosmetic.

    ‘a slick of lip balm’
    • ‘The days of the innocent slick of lipstick are over since the newest formulations work far better.’
    • ‘Blot the whole lip area again and top with a slick of gloss.’
    • ‘A strong, glossy slick of Serra cheese was similar to Vacherin and the marinated sea bass was sharp and fresh and ceviche-like.’
    • ‘Impeccably fresh sardines cooked in pancetta do not need a slick of oil seeping from a curiously flavourless salsa verde.’
    • ‘Reassuringly the leaves are dressed correctly, by being turned with the slick of creamy sauce in a big stainless steel bowl.’
    • ‘Then soften the effect with a creamlike slick of olive oil and slip in a surprise bomb of pale lychee fruit, all insinuating sweetness and perfume.’
    • ‘A slick of coral larvae encounters pumice (or bottles or other flotsam), and the larvae settle on it as a new home.’
    • ‘She insists I try the sorbet made from her favourite Meyer lemons and then the vanilla panna cotta with slices of kumquat in a slick of sweet local honey.’
    • ‘The soup had the light, creamy texture of melted ice cream and left a pleasing slick of richness down the back of my throat.’
    • ‘This food comes minus the usual slicks of oil and unnatural colourings.’
    • ‘The sky was criss-crossed with vapour trails, and blue but for a dark slick that started from some high heather burning and had spread miles, a dirty line just above the horizon of the North York Moors.’
    • ‘If you do feel your blood pressure starting to rise, simply slap on a slick of stress-relieving peppermint oil lip gloss.’
    • ‘There was an oily slick on top and far too many noodles, flabbily over - cooked.’
  • 3usually slicksA race car or bicycle tire without a tread, for use in dry weather conditions.

    • ‘The tires lacked the grip levels of the formerly used slicks, giving the machines ‘twitchy’ handling manners and making them extremely tricky and volatile to drive.’
    • ‘I went to the back of the car and looked at the slicks with great concern and said, ‘Yep, they look pretty good to me.’’
    • ‘It's never much fun driving over snow or ice on slicks, although I have gained a lot of experience and confidence in this sort of situation.’
    • ‘He didn't have much time in the car before the race and going out on slicks in those conditions was a real test,’ reckoned Lockie.’
    • ‘This produced frantic activity on the grid as drivers decided whether to stay with wet tyres or change to slicks.’
  • 4North American informal A glossy magazine.

    • ‘Similarly the original story appeared in a slick in 1933.’
    • ‘Although the stories are not his best work, he and his agent must have been pleased to receive the higher rates that the slicks were paying.’
  • 5North American informal A person who is smooth and persuasive but untrustworthy.

    • ‘The employees in my opinion are fake, polished, phony smiling ear to ear corporate slicks - especially when taking your money.’
    • ‘Before, she allowed herself to be pulled like a wishbone by sponsors, agents and other corporate slicks.’

verb

  • 1with object and adverbial Make (one's hair) flat, smooth, and glossy by applying water, oil, or cream to it.

    ‘his damp hair was slicked back’
    as adjective in combination ‘his slicked-down hair’
    • ‘Then I slick my hair back and jump in the car waiting outside my apartment.’
    • ‘His chestnut hair was slicked back, away from his face.’
    • ‘I felt my eyes widen as he nervously slicked his hair down.’
    • ‘Those small boys still under any kind of parental control had pressed shorts and oil slicked hair.’
    • ‘Her straight chin length black hair was slicked back with water, and ended at the back of her neck.’
    • ‘His hair was slicked back with gel, too much gel.’
    • ‘His hair was cutely slicked back; his eyes were bright and glossy.’
    • ‘I slicked my hair back again, but this time a little less severely so.’
    • ‘It was the heady days of the late 1980s, the days of sharp suits, slicked back hair and red braces over striped shirts.’
    • ‘He walked over to her, goofily slicking his hair back.’
    • ‘His hair was slicked back, and he seemed to be busy.’
    • ‘His wavy silver hair was slicked back to better reveal his large and luminescent round blue eyes, which were at the moment centered on Katrina.’
    • ‘His hair was slicked back and he was yammering away into a sleek cell phone in Italian.’
    • ‘His black greased hair was slicked back and his eyes held black orbs staring angrily at the man in front of him.’
    • ‘He straightened his jacket and slicked his hair back.’
    • ‘His face is scrubbed, his clothes are ironed and his hair is slicked down.’
    • ‘The water had slicked back Jess's hair, exposing the garish black-stitched scar by her left temple.’
    • ‘His hair is slicked back in that obnoxious, macho way.’
    • ‘His hair is slicked back and he wears a golden watch.’
    • ‘To achieve this very elegant look a gel was applied to the hair and the hair was slicked as close to the head as possible.’
    smooth, sleek, flatten
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Cover with a film of liquid; make wet or slippery.
      ‘she woke to find her body slicked with sweat’
      as adjective in combination ‘a rain-slicked road’
      • ‘Her bright red hair flew out behind her, and her pale sweat slicked skin and sea green eyes glistened in the setting sun.’
      • ‘Grabbing a towel, I ran the cloth over my sweat slicked skin as I jogged towards the phone.’
      • ‘There is butter here, lots of it, and its liquid richness coats the dry-curd feta and slicks the crêpes.’
      • ‘It's cold, but she guesses that's probably down more to the viscous sheen of sweat slicked across her body than to the weather itself.’
      • ‘Sweat soon coated her forehead and slicked her arms as her skin slapped against the skin of strangers.’
      • ‘His body was sweat slicked and burning when she finally came back to earth.’
      • ‘He appeared to have passed out, a thin sheen of sweat slicked all over his face.’
      spread, rub, daub, slap, slather, smother, plaster, cream
      View synonyms
  • 2slick someone/something upNorth American Make someone or something smart, tidy, or stylish.

    • ‘However, I can say after purposely firing multiple consecutive shots without swabbing the bore (under test conditions) that hot water slicked the rifle up to brand new in a few short minutes.’
    • ‘He resisted the temptation to slick the place up.’
    • ‘The gel ran through her fingers as she slicked her hair up.’
    • ‘She slicked her hair up, did her makeup, and ran down the stairs.’
    • ‘If the rifle were my own I would have a gunsmith slick the trigger up a little.’

Origin

Middle English (in the senses ‘glossy’ and ‘make smooth or glossy’): probably from Old English and related to Old Norse slíkr ‘smooth’; compare with sleek.

Pronunciation

slick

/slik//slɪk/