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[sheek] /ʃik/
adjective, chicer, chicest.
attractive and fashionable; stylish:
a chic hat.
style and elegance, especially in dress:
Paris clothes have such chic.
stylishness; modishness:
the chic of the firstnighters.
casual and understated style, as in dress or décor, that expresses a specified trendy lifestyle or activity:
Black-rimmed glasses bring some geek chic to your outfit.
Origin of chic
1855-60; < French < German Schick skill
Related forms
chicly, adverb
chicness, noun
superchic, adjective
ultrachic, adjective
Can be confused
chic, chick.
1. smart, elegant, modish.
Pronunciation note
The spelling pronunciation
[chik] /tʃɪk/ (Show IPA)
is considered nonstandard except when used facetiously. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for chic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The millinery I caught a peep at looked too chic for a grandmother.

    Campfire Girls at Twin Lakes Stella M. Francis
  • There's nothing cheerful, there's no chic to it; there are no live and vivifying sounds in it.

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • After all, the American women were chic, she decided, although some of the doctors had wives of a dowdiness—Himmel!

    The Street of Seven Stars Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Yet in spite of it the theatre was packed; a chic audience, too.

    A Village of Vagabonds F. Berkeley Smith
  • Some of them were old greybeards, some of them were chic young men.

British Dictionary definitions for chic


/ʃiːk; ʃɪk/
(esp of fashionable clothes, women, etc) stylish or elegant
stylishness, esp in dress; modishness; fashionable good taste
any of various fashion movements based on a particular lifestyle: radical chic, geek chic
Derived Forms
chicly, adverb
Word Origin
C19: from French, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chic

1856, as a noun, "style, artistic skill," from French chic, 19c. in "stylishness" sense, originally "subtlety" (16c.), of unknown origin, perhaps [Klein] related to German Schick "tact, skill," from Middle Low German schikken "arrange appropriately," or Middle High German schicken "to arrange, set in order;" or from French chicane, from chicanerie (see chicanery). The adjectival meaning "stylish" is from 1879 in English, "Not so used in F[rench]." [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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