Dictionary

essential oil

noun

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

Full Definition of ESSENTIAL OIL

:  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

First Known Use of ESSENTIAL OIL

1674

essential oil

noun    (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of ESSENTIAL OIL

:  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

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