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 The reduction process that extracts cannabidiol from the cannabis plant can introduce heavy metals and other contaminants, including solvents used to extract essential oils from the flower, Rahman explained. Kaitlin Sullivan, Health, 16 Sep. 2023 Soaps and essential oil sprays handmade by Robert and Jeff and dish towels inscribed with sassy quotes were on display. Anna Braz, Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2023 Apply the salt to your bath for a mineral-rich seaweed and essential oil bathhouse classic. India Espy-Jones, Essence, 30 Aug. 2023 In a small bowl, mix together one or two drops of essential oil, water, and olive oil. Rachelle Doorley, Parents, 16 Aug. 2023 The base notes, also called dry-down notes, include cistus oil (a type of essential oil) and Madagascar vanilla beans. Lily Wohlner, Women's Health, 9 Aug. 2023 For those experiencing smell loss without access to a smell and taste clinic, Cho recommends smell training at home twice a day with essential oils. Aara'l Yarber, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Aug. 2023 These soy candles that are infused with pine, cedar and birch tar essential oils are the next best thing to being outside. Megan Stein, Peoplemag, 2 Aug. 2023 Simply put a few drops of your favorite essential oil into the top of the box, which can also open up to fit aromatherapy strips inside. Tim Chan, Variety, 28 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'essential oil.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1674, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of essential oil was in 1674

Dictionary Entries Near essential oil

Cite this Entry

“Essential oil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition

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

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