essential oil

noun
Updated on: 8 Dec 2017

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

Recent Examples of essential oil from the Web

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.

First Known Use of essential oil

1674


ESSENTIAL OIL Defined for English Language Learners

essential oil

noun

Definition of essential oil for English Language Learners

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


Medical Dictionary

essential oil

noun

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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