essential oil


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

Examples of essential oil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Simply apply a few drops of the essential oil of your choice to its surface and take a deep breath. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "The 17 Best Essential Oil Diffusers for a Calm Space and Clear Mind," 4 Jan. 2021 Throw in some popular essential oil scents to complete the gift. Jamie Ueda, USA TODAY, "The 30 coziest gifts of 2020," 10 Nov. 2020 Below, a look at the 17 best essential oil diffusers to shop now. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "The 17 Best Essential Oil Diffusers for a Calm Space and Clear Mind," 4 Jan. 2021 This oil has more than 30 essential oil and nutrients. Chelsea Hall, Marie Claire, "The 43 Black-Owned Beauty Brands We'll Never Stop Talking About," 28 Oct. 2020 Some of the most popular gift options include an essential oil diffuser, a portable Bluetooth speaker, fuzzy socks, and a mini waffle maker. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "How to host a virtual Secret Santa gift exchange," 9 Dec. 2020 Embrace your free time with a mountain of bubbles and a few drops of essential oil. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, "80+ Creative Things to Do When You're Bored to Pass the Time," 2 Dec. 2020 This 2-in-1 lamp and essential oil diffuser creates a welcoming atmosphere in any room. Fiona Tapp, CNN Underscored, "Our favorite picks from the Amazon Canada holiday gift guide," 24 Nov. 2020 Invest in a bathtub caddy, weighted blanket, essential oil diffuser, and more ahead of winter quarantine part two. Kelsey Clark, Glamour, "12 Best Amazon Black Friday Deals of 2020 (So Far)," 20 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'essential oil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of essential oil

1674, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for essential oil

Time Traveler

The first known use of essential oil was in 1674

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Statistics for essential oil

Last Updated

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Essential oil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for essential oil

essential oil


English Language Learners 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

essential oil


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

More from Merriam-Webster on essential oil Encyclopedia article about essential oil

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