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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
    • 1999, E. Brewer, Picking Up the Marbles, AuthorHouse, →ISBN, p. 162.
      She knew that sleaze Hakido would do something to stick the knife in and twist it to the hilt.
  3. (countable) a man who is sexually aggressive or forward with women to the point of disgust
    • 1989, Weekly World News, "My hubby robbed the cradle and left me with the baby", 7 November, p. 42.
      I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that sleaze slept with your boss and I wouldn't take it lying down.
    • 1996, S. Hoskinson Frommer, Buried in Quilts, Harlequin, →ISBN, p. 64.
      Mother, he's such a sleaze! The way he looked at you!
  4. sleazy material
    a tabloid newspaper full of sleaze

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


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.