9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[oi-lee] /ˈɔɪ li/
adjective, oilier, oiliest.
smeared or covered with oil; greasy:
an oily road surface.
of the nature of, consisting of, or resembling oil.
of or relating to oil.
full of or containing oil.
smooth or unctuous, as in manner or speech:
an oily hypocrite.
in an oily manner.
Origin of oily
1520-30; oil + -y1
Related forms
oiliness, noun
nonoily, adjective
unoily, adjective
5. fawning, smarmy, bootlicking. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for oily
  • If the temperature is too low, doughnuts will absorb more oil and taste soggy and oily.
  • oily sheens, some hundreds of yards across, glow dully on the water.
  • In other words, oily dough with a sweet and salty flavor.
  • Avoid overheating bowl, as butter will become oily rather than creamy.
  • Fat is the white or yellowish oily solid substance forming the chief part of the adipose tissue.
  • His clothes were apt to look oily and smell of eating-houses.
  • His head was too big for his lanky body, and his skin was oily.
  • Yet the problem with cod liver oil remained its vile, nauseating, oily quality and taste.
  • She lived in the kitchen and ruled the house with an oily wooden spoon in her hand.
  • The noodles, when they're served, are elastic and covered in an oily meat sauce.
British Dictionary definitions for oily


adjective oilier, oiliest
soaked in or smeared with oil or grease
consisting of, containing, or resembling oil
flatteringly servile or obsequious
Derived Forms
oilily, adverb
oiliness, noun
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 oily

1520s, from oil (n.) + -y (2). Figurative meaning "smooth, unctuous" is from 1590s. Related: Oiliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for oily



Cunning and ingratiating; sly and unctuous: his perfect-pitch portrayal of Artie, the oily producer of The Larry Sanders Show (1879+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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