- Coated or soiled with grease.
- Containing grease, especially too much grease: a greasy hamburger.
- Suggestive of grease in slickness or slipperiness: a greasy character.
Related Forms:Our Living Language
One of our most notable regional distinctions is the “greasy-greazy” line. It is famous among scholars of American dialects for marking a clear division between major dialect regions of the United States. In the North and West, greasy
is pronounced with an (s) sound; in the Midland dialect region and the South, it is pronounced with a (z). According to the Dictionary of American Regional English,
the “greazy” region extends from the Deep South to southern parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois and all of Missouri, Texas, and New Mexico. The verb grease
also follows this pattern, although not the noun grease,
which is pronounced with an (s) sound everywhere. A few Southerners also use (z) in blouse.
The (z) pronunciation is so stable and so characteristic of Southern dialects that dialect scholars use it to trace the migration of Southern speakers into other dialect areas, such as Colorado, Oregon, and California.