adj. slick·er, slick·est
1. Smooth, glossy, and slippery: sidewalks slick with ice.
2. Deftly executed; adroit: "A jockey occasionally won a four-mile heat with a slick maneuver" (John Eisenberg).
3. Confident and effortlessly effective, especially in being persuasive: a slick political insider.
4. Superficially attractive or plausible but lacking depth or soundness: a slick writing style.
5. Slang Excellent; wonderful.
1. A smooth or slippery surface or area.
a. A floating film of oil.
b. A trail of floating material: a garbage slick.
3. An implement used to make a surface slick, especially a chisel used for smoothing and polishing.
4. Informal A magazine, usually of large popular readership, printed on high-quality glossy paper.
5. A smooth, treadless tire, often used for racing.
6. Slang An unarmed military aircraft, especially a helicopter.
tr.v. slicked, slick·ing, slicks
1. To make smooth, glossy, or oily.
2. Informal To make neat, trim, or tidy: slicked themselves up for the camera.
[Middle English slike, from Old English *slice; see lei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. V., Middle English sliken, from Late Old English -slīcian, -slȳcian (in nīgslȳcod, freshly smoothed).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.