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From a conflation of several terms; some native to English and others borrowed from fellow Germanic languages, that are all ultimately derived from Proto-Germanic *slīkaną (to creep, crawl), from Proto-Indo-European *sleig-, *sleiǵ- (to glide, smooth, spread).



slick (comparative slicker, superlative slickest)

  1. Slippery due to a covering of liquid; often used to describe appearances.
    This rain is making the roads slick.
    The top coating of lacquer gives this finish a slick look.
  2. Appearing expensive or sophisticated.
    They read all kinds of slick magazines.
  3. Superficially convincing but actually untrustworthy.
    That new sales rep is slick. Be sure to read the fine print before you buy anything.
  4. Clever, making an apparently hard task easy; often used sarcastically.
    Our new process for extracting needles from haystacks is extremely slick.
    That was a slick move, locking your keys in the car.
  5. (US, West Coast slang) Extraordinarily great or special.
    That is one slick bicycle: it has all sorts of features!
  6. sleek; smooth
    • Chapman
      Both slick and dainty.



slick (plural slicks)

  1. A covering of liquid, particularly oil.
    Careful in turn three — there's an oil slick on the road.
    The oil slick has now spread to cover the entire bay, critically endangering the sea life.
  2. Someone who is clever and untrustworthy.
  3. A tool used to make something smooth or even.
  4. (sports, automotive) A tire with a smooth surface instead of a tread pattern, often used in auto racing.
    You'll go much faster if you put on slicks.
  5. (US, military slang) A helicopter.
  6. (printing) A camera-ready image to be used by a printer. The "slick" is photographed to produce a negative image which is then used to burn a positive offset plate or other printing device.
    The project was delayed because the slick had not been delivered to the printer.
  7. A wide paring chisel used in joinery.




slick (third-person singular simple present slicks, present participle slicking, simple past and past participle slicked)

  1. To make slick
    The surface had been slicked.

Derived terms[edit]