English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I encountered a polishing cloth that has a line which says

(This cloth) generates sleeks and scratches on the glass surface.

What is the definition of sleek in this context? I looked up in a dictionary and all it says is gloss, smooth surface, but from the context it seems sleek is associated with scratch.

share|improve this question
Although they’re clearly not appropriate to your context, sleek has several other obscure noun meanings: a measure of fruit or vegetables; a mud-bank; or an oily patch on water (parallel to slick). – PLL Aug 13 '11 at 17:23
up vote 11 down vote accepted

"Sleek" is a term used in polishing that means:

Sleek - A polishing scratch having no visible conchoidal breaking of the edges.

Another polishing site gives a better definition:

A very fine scratch visible at only certain angles. Sleeks are found during polishing, usually being caused by impurities in the polishing compound or other contaminates. Sleeks also occur when the polishing compound dries out during a polishing session.

It is used specifically for polishing scratches.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.