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Back-formation from sleazy, originally used to describe the thinness and low quality of cloth.



sleaze (countable and uncountable, plural sleazes)

  1. (uncountable) low moral standards
    • 2004, London Review of Books, 19 Aug 2004:
      ministerial sleaze and mendacity
    • 1988, The New Yorker, 11 Jan 1988:
      The level of sleaze in this city seems to have been rising rapidly in recent years.
  2. (countable) a person with low moral standards
  3. (countable) (the commonest instance of the above) a man who is sexually aggressive or forward with women to the point of disgust
  4. sleazy material
    a tabloid newspaper full of sleaze

Related terms[edit]


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sleaze (third-person singular simple present sleazes, present participle sleazing, simple past and past participle sleazed)

  1. To act or progress in a sleazy manner.
    He sleazed his way over to the women at the bar.
  2. To slander.