Oily things are greasy, slippery, or covered with oil — think a bowl of oily pasta or the oily garage floor after you've been tinkering with your motorcycle's engine.

Anything containing oil, covered in oil, or resembling oil is oily. A batch of muffins might taste weirdly oily when you use too much butter, and the rags lying around a car repair shop are mostly black and oily. Your brother's hair will probably be pretty oily after he refuses to wash it for a month. Since the sixteenth century, oily has also had the figurative meaning of "insincerely flattering or slick," like an oily car salesman.

Definitions of oily
  1. adjective
    containing an unusual amount of grease or oil
    oily fried potatoes”
    synonyms: greasy, oleaginous, sebaceous, unctuous
    fat, fatty
    containing or composed of fat
  2. adjective
    coated or covered with oil
    oily puddles in the streets”
    having a coating; covered with an outer layer or film; often used in combination
  3. adjective
    smeared or soiled with grease or oil
    “get rid of rubbish and oily rags”
    synonyms: greasy
    dirty, soiled, unclean
    soiled or likely to soil with dirt or grime
  4. adjective
    unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech
    “an oily sycophantic press agent”
    synonyms: buttery, fulsome, oleaginous, smarmy, soapy, unctuous
    lacking sincerity
Word Family

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