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

Fully unwind at Naum Wellness & Spa, where the signature massage incorporates warm volcanic stones and a custom blend of essential oils, and then unwind some more with mezcal cocktails at one of the property’s four restaurants. Vogue, "The Power of Scent: 5 New Fragrances to Help Those Vacation Memories Linger, Long After The Trip Ends," 31 May 2019 Truly appreciate your free time with a mountain of bubbles and a few drops of essential oils. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "40 Creative Things to Do When You're Bored to Pass the Time," 23 May 2019 For a fresher scent, add a few drops of an essential oil to the mix. Sara Clark, Country Living, "How to Clean Your Dishwasher," 23 May 2019 This compound from essential oils has analgesic effects (Inflammation, April 2017). Joe Graedon, The Seattle Times, "Vicks VapoRub eases facial pain," 11 Sep. 2018 Relaxing ritual baths that are infused with aromatic essential oils, with rose or flower petals. Lisa Stardust, Teen Vogue, "How to Do Magic and Other Questions You Might Have About Being a Witch," 30 Apr. 2019 The chop-chop-chop of a blade grinder is like hitting the beans with a machete, and the heat from the motor can activate the coffee's essential oils, producing wildly uneven results. Francine Maroukian, Popular Mechanics, "Hack Your Coffee: How to Use a French Press the Right Way," 15 Feb. 2015 Upstairs at the McPherson Youth Center, there are couches, a sound machine, and an essential oil diffuser. Paul Leighton, The Christian Science Monitor, "Youth centers to offer positive support for suspended students," 31 May 2018 Muddle the mint leaves in the bottom of the julep cup with sugar or syrup, so the essential oils of the mint are released. Charlotte Chilton, Town & Country, "How to Make a Mint Julep Just as Good as the Ones Served at the Kentucky Derby," 28 Mar. 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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Statistics for essential oil

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

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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

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

Comments on essential oil

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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