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

In a powerful blender, combine the coconut meat, spinach, lime juice, honey, vanilla, essential oil, and the remaining ⅓ cup nut mylk. Sally Singer, Vogue, "Hollywood’s Favorite Detox Resort Launches a Delicious Vegetarian Cookbook," 13 June 2018 Her healing sessions also include sound baths, essential oils and energy clearing. Marisa Meltzer, New York Times, "A New Treatment Wants You to Close Your Eyes. What Do You See?," 5 June 2018 Give it a good whack on the side of the glass to release the essential oils and wonderful minty smell, then tuck it into the glass like a bouquet. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, "Mint and roses and ham and more! Your Kentucky Derby party must-have list," 27 Apr. 2018 This Jurlique pick contains jojoba and essential oils and is ideal for all skin types, promising anti-aging results and relief from dark spots, crow’s feet, puffiness, and more. Bella Gerard,, "These Are the 13 Products You Need to Snag From Dermstore’s Winter Essentials Sale," 16 Jan. 2018 Those include certain irritating essential oils, fragrances and dyes, silicones, chemical sunscreens, sodium laureth sulfate, and alcohols. Loren Savini, Allure, "5 Leading Founders of Natural Skin-Care Brands Told Us What "Natural" Means to Them," 30 Mar. 2018 Synthetic fragrances, as well as certain essential oils, can irritate the skin and cause eczema flare-ups, which is why ditching them altogether is a good way to err on the safe side. Brennan Kilbane, GQ, "How to Deal with Eczema (and Still Party)," 21 Feb. 2018 Kari Roehl, an essential oils educator, will be giving a mini-lecture at the Brookfield Public Library June 25 at 7 p.m. Attendees will be able to create their own make and take. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here are 37 things to do and see in the Brookfield and Wauwatosa area this summer," 11 June 2018 Frankincense, turmeric and a homemade tea weren't toxic, Mom said, and there were stories all over the internet about people using essential oils, frankincense in particular, to melt their tumors. Andrea Simakis,, "Cleveland Clinic, parents clash over girl's brain tumor treatment; court to decide," 13 May 2018

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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Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for essential oil

The first known use of essential oil was in 1674

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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

See words that rhyme with essential oil Encyclopedia article about essential oil

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