glossy vs slick what difference

what is difference between glossy and slick



gloss +‎ -y


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɡlɒsi/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɡlɔsi/
  • (cotcaught merger, Canada) IPA(key): /ˈɡlɑsi/
  • Rhymes: -ɒsi, -ɔːsi


glossy (comparative glossier, superlative glossiest)

  1. Having a smooth, silk-like, reflective surface.


  • matte



glossy (plural glossies)

  1. (chiefly Britain, informal) A glossy magazine.
    The supermarket glossies are full of celebrity gossip and fad diets.
  2. (informal) A glossy photograph.
    • 2013, Stacy Zemon, The DJ Sales and Marketing Handbook
      Black and white 8- × 10-inch glossies are best, but 5- × 7-inch is okay too. Place photos on top of cardboard when mailing. Don’t tape or paper-clip because doing so can ruin the photo.
  3. (film, informal) A film depicting people with glamorous lifestyles.
    • 1959, Film Review (page 102)
      Anna Magnani has been making Hollywood glossies recently, so it was good to see her back again in a native Italian production, The Last Temptation, in which with great artistry and all her usual power she played a Nun who finds a woman’s and even a mother’s heart beating strongly beneath her ‘sister’s’ habit.
    • 1973, Films and Filming (volume 20, page 10)
      [] the first home-made guide to TV films by which is meant old films shown on the box, not those new Hollywood glossies made specially for it (though a guide there too would soon be welcome).



  • IPA(key): /slɪk/
  • Rhymes: -ɪk

Etymology 1

From Middle English slicke, slike, slyke, from Old English slīc (sleek, smooth; crafty, cunning, slick), from Proto-Germanic *slīkaz (sleek, smooth),
from Proto-Indo-European *sleyg-, *sleyǵ- (to glide, smooth, spread). Akin to Dutch sluik, dialectal Dutch sleek (even, smooth), Old Norse slíkr (sleek, smooth), Old English slician (to make sleek, smooth, or glossy).


slick (comparative slicker, superlative slickest)

  1. Slippery or smooth 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.
    His large round head was shaved slick.
  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.
    • 2014, Ian Black, “Courts kept busy as Jordan works to crush support for Isis”, The Guardian, 27 November 2014:
      The threat the most radical of them pose is evidently far greater at home than abroad: in one characteristically slick and chilling Isis video – entitled “a message to the Jordanian tyrant” – a smiling, long-haired young man in black pats the explosive belt round his waist as he burns his passport and his fellow fighters praise the memory of Zarqawi, who was killed in Iraq in 2006.
  4. (often used sarcastically) Clever, making an apparently hard task easy.
    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


slick (plural slicks)

  1. A covering of liquid, particularly oil.
  2. (by extension, hydrodynamics, US, dated) A rapidly-expanding ring of dark water, resembling an oil slick, around the site of a large underwater explosion at shallow depth, marking the progress through the water of the shock wave generated by the explosion.
  3. Someone who is clever and untrustworthy.
  4. A tool used to make something smooth or even.
  5. (sports, automotive) A tire with a smooth surface instead of a tread pattern, often used in auto racing.
    Synonyms: slick tire, slick tyre
  6. (US, military slang) A helicopter.
  7. (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.
  8. A wide paring chisel used in joinery.
Coordinate terms

(phenomenon from underwater explosion):

  • crack


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.

Related terms

  • slick as snot
  • slick cam
  • slicker
  • slicken
  • slick back
  • slick down
  • slickstone
  • slick-tech
  • slick up

Etymology 2



  1. Alternative form of schlich


  • Licks, licks

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