An aspect, element, or part of a group, organization, campaign, activity, etc., that engages in, is tainted by, or is known for immoral, corrupt, or scandalous behavior. We're aiming to create a dating website for professional adults, without the sleaze factor for which some of our competitors are known. The deregulation of this industry has caused the sleaze factor to skyrocket, as people motivated purely by greed now have myriad ways to manipulate the system.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
The element in a political party, administration, or other organization that is corrupt, controversial, or tainted by scandal. For example, I can't see myself making a campaign contribution to them-there's too much of a sleaze factor . This slangy expression derives from the adjective sleazy, which means "vulgar" or "tawdry." The idiom was first used in politics in the 1980s.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The part of a situation or organization that is sordid or corrupt. The word sleaze has been used in the sense of immoral or corrupt since about 1960. The entire phrase is used mostly for components of an administration, political party, or campaign. An article by Joshua E. Keating was headlined, “Sleaze Factor, Is There an Epidemic of Corruption in the World’s Democracies?” (Foreign Policy, July 12, 2010). An article about a television reality show was headlined, “Critics Blame Big Media for Sleaze Factor” (Frank Ahrens, Washington Post, February 11, 2004).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer