Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

essential oil

noun

Simple Definition of essential oil

  • : an oil that comes from a plant, that smells like the plant it comes from, and that is used in perfumes and flavorings

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of essential oil

  1. :  any of a class of volatile oils that give plants their characteristic odors and are used especially in perfumes and flavorings, and for aromatherapy — compare fixed oil

1674

First Known Use of essential oil

1674


Medical Dictionary

essential oil

noun

Medical Definition of essential oil

  1. :  any of a large class of volatile odoriferous oils of vegetable origin that give plants their characteristic odors and often other properties, that are obtained from various parts of the plants (as flowers, leaves, or bark) by steam distillation, expression, or extraction, that are usually mixtures of compounds (as aldehydes or esters), and that are used often in the form of essences in perfumes, flavorings, and pharmaceutical preparations—called also ethereal oil, volatile oil; compare fatty oil, fixed oil




Learn More about essential oil


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up essential oil? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to manage or play awkwardly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

reduce disapprove perplex soothe
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ