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 Tea, essential oils and incense greet those who come into the studio. Valerie Bonk,, "Leave your Lululemon at home: This Fulton yoga studio shifts focus from exercise to self-care," 29 Oct. 2019 And like any good spa, fragrances are key, so her bathroom boasts endless scents, ranging from her own brand, Chosen, to relaxing essential oils and classic Chanel perfumes. Neha Prakash, Allure, "Nicole Scherzinger Gave Us a Tour of Her Glamorous, Spa-Like Bathroom," 7 Oct. 2019 And unlike a saltwater taffy that relies on fake-tasting commercial flavoring and artificial color, Dewar’s uses essential oils for a more intense, undiluted flavor. Alex Pastron, Bon Appétit, "More Likely Than Not, I’ve Got One of These Taffies in My Pocket," 28 Oct. 2019 Mayo Clinic experts have even suggested using essential oil for mental fatigue, and to help cope with restlessness and anxiety. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "5 Beauty Products That Help Relieve Stress," 10 Oct. 2019 Some yoga instructors use incense or essential oils to set moods, but according to Yoga Journal, more studios are going scent-free. The Washington Post, The Know, "The 12 dos and don’ts of yoga class," 7 Sep. 2019 Add a few drops of each to your essential oil diffuser to make the whole house smell like fall, or apply topically to your temples and neck to summon the season. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "These Essential Oils Will Make Your Whole House Smell Like Fall," 16 Aug. 2018 Candles, essential oils, incense, books on wellbeing — all of these things can do the trick in no time. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "Transform Your Home Into A Wellness Sanctuary With These Easy Tips," 31 Oct. 2019 Native evergreens are both aromatic and release a high concentration of phytoncides—airborne essential oils that provide a natural immunity boost. Michael Melford, National Geographic, "The secret to mindful travel? A walk in the woods," 18 Oct. 2019

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

11 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Essential oil.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with essential oil Encyclopedia article about essential oil

Comments on essential oil

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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