Origin obscure. Possibly a corruption of Silesia, through a word meaning “Silesian cloth”. Silesia used to be the most important location of Germany’s weaving industry.
- Marked by low quality; inferior; inadequate.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:low-quality
- Raunchy or perverted in nature; tastelessly sexual.
- Synonym: skeezy
- 1979, “Sleazy”, in Live and Sleazy, performed by Village People:
- Sleazy, yeah, I like it sleazy / Oh let's get nasty baby / I like it sleazy / I'll take you for a bad ride
- 2000, Stephen D. Dighton, Locked In, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN, page 226:
- Nancy knew it was a sleazy movie because the channel's logo appeared in the lower right corner of the screen. This satellite station only showed sleazy films at this time of the night. Actually its selection of films was trashy at any time, but the after-eleven fare was especially so. […] It's garbage, a step or two removed from pornography.
- 1934, Lew Levenson, chapter VIII, in Butterfly Man:
- She hated Ed Feinberg, the sleazy, lying, blood-sucking small-timer. Still he was a man; if he had called her up in the old days, in Seattle, she'd have entertained him.
- 2007, Milton T. Burton, The Sweet and the Dead, St. Martin's Press, →ISBN, page 1:
- The Gold Dust was a sleazy place, a clip joint with crooked gambling tables in the back and a fleet of B-girls who would give you a few minutes' vapid conversation and a peek at the tops of their breasts if you bought them a three-dollar drink […]
- (dated, of fabric) Thin and flimsy.
- 1912, Edna Ferber, “What She Wore”, in Buttered Side Down:
- I hesitate to describe Sophy Epstein's dress. You won't like it. In the first place, it was cut too low, front and back, for a shoe clerk in a downtown loft. It was a black dress, near-princess in style, very tight as to fit, very short as to skirt, very sleazy as to material.
- 1920, Robert Welles Ritchie, chapter 4, in Trails to Two Moons:
- Hilma donned her oldest dress, carried pick and shovel to a flower-blown knoll above the creek and there chose a site for the grave. […] Soon the sleazy dress clung to her back with a sweat of toil, and its stretched web undulated to the smooth play of muscles from shoulder to midback.
The following example shows the first three senses in a single sentence:
Sleazy John may be interpreted as untrustworthy, perverted or both in this case.
- 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.