Slick means smooth or slippery, but it can also describe a smooth, effortless style. How did that Girl Scout talk you into buying so many boxes of cookies? It must have been her slick sales pitch.

A great salesman is often described as slick — he or she seems more like a friend than someone trying to sell you something. Things that are smooth and glossy can also be called slick, like the surface of a glass table or an icy patch on the sidewalk. Slick is also a verb, meaning “to smooth,” like when you slick back your hair. The oldest meaning of slick is shiny, and in the 1620s, it was even the name of a kind of cosmetic.

Definitions of slick
  1. adjective

    made slick by e.g. ice or grease

    slick with ice”
    “roads are
    slickest when rain has just started and hasn’t had time to wash away the oil”

    slippery, slippy

    causing or tending to cause things to slip or slide
  2. adjective

    having a smooth, gleaming surface reflecting light

    slick seals and otters”
    satiny, silken, silklike, silky, sleek


    emitting or reflecting light readily or in large amounts
  3. noun

    a slippery smoothness

    slickness, slip, slipperiness
    see moresee less

    type of:


    a texture without roughness; smooth to the touch

  4. verb

    make slick or smooth

    see moresee less

    type of:

    polish, shine, smooth, smoothen

    make (a surface) shine

  5. verb

    give a smooth and glossy appearance

    slick one’s hair”
    sleek down, slick down
    see moresee less

    type of:

    comb, comb out, disentangle

    smoothen and neaten with or as with a comb

  6. adjective

    marked by skill in deception

    slick evasive answer”
    crafty, cunning, dodgy, foxy, guileful, knavish, sly, tricksy, tricky, wily


    marked by skill in achieving a desired end especially with cunning or craft
  7. adjective

    having only superficial plausibility

    slick commercial”
    glib, pat


    apparently reasonable and valid, and truthful
  8. noun

    a magazine printed on good quality paper

    glossy, slick magazine
    see moresee less

    type of:

    mag, magazine

    a periodic publication containing pictures and stories and articles of interest to those who purchase it or subscribe to it

  9. noun

    a film of oil or garbage floating on top of water

    see moresee less


    oil slick

    a thin film of oil floating on top of water (especially crude oil spilled from a ship)
    type of:


    a thin coating or layer

  10. noun

    a trowel used to make a surface slick

    see moresee less

    type of:


    a small hand tool with a handle and flat metal blade; used for scooping or spreading plaster or similar materials

Word Family