\ ˈgrēs \

Definition of grease

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : rendered animal fat
b : oily matter
c : a thick lubricant
2 : wool as it comes from the sheep retaining the natural oils or fats
in the grease
of wool or fur : in the natural uncleaned condition


\ ˈgrēs , ˈgrēz \
greased; greasing

Definition of grease (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to smear or daub with grease
2 : to lubricate with grease
3 : to soil with grease
4 : to hasten the process or progress of also : facilitate
grease the hand of or grease the palm of
: bribe

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Other Words from grease


greaseless \ ˈgrēs-​ləs \ adjective
greaseproof \ ˈgrēs-​ˈprüf \ adjective

Synonyms for grease

Synonyms: Verb

lubricate, oil, slick, wax

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Examples of grease in a Sentence


Grease the pan before you put the cake batter in. make sure you grease the pan before you put the batter in

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For streak and spot-free glass, spritz on a glass or grease-cutting multi-purpose cleaner like Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean an Oven Quickly and Painlessly," 18 Dec. 2018 The company operates a grease trap maintenance business on an adjacent property. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Lawrenceville approves parking plan," 12 June 2018 The grease was there, but not overwhelming, combining with the Whiz and slyly dripping out of the roll from time to time. Alex Delany, Bon Appetit, "I Ate at 16 of the Best Philly Cheesesteak Spots in 12 Hours," 3 Jan. 2018 The French pharmacy moisturizer and Fashion Week staple creates a perfect, dewy, fresh-from-the-facialist glow, retaining the skin’s moisture, without leaving a trace of grease. Mackenzie Wagoner, Vogue, "The 10 Beauty Products Every Model Has in Her Medicine Cabinet," 22 Aug. 2018 Malaysians were accustomed to a certain amount of grease in the country’s political system, but the extravagant sums linked to the 1MDB scandal shocked the public. New York Times, "A Stunning, Sudden Fall for Najib Razak, Malaysia’s ‘Man of Steal’," 15 May 2018 Lightly grease three 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment; grease parchment. Anna Helm Baxter, Country Living, "Candy Cane Cake," 11 Dec. 2018 Most sewage spills are caused when grease, tree roots or debris clogs pipelines. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Spill dumps raw sewage into south Mecklenburg creek | Charlotte Observer," 8 Jan. 2018 The company’s frugal culture has been something of a mismatch for the glitzy sales events and long lunches that grease business deals on Madison Avenue. Laura Stevens, WSJ, "Amazon, With Little Fanfare, Emerges as an Advertising Giant," 27 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Spray a 9-by-9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray (or grease with butter), and coat with flour. Providence Cicero, The Seattle Times, "Sawyer’s Julio Avila re-imagines his grandmother’s beloved tres leches cake recipe — with an extra burst of ‘milk’," 29 Jan. 2019 So, to grease the fertility wheels, a number of women are turning (back about three millennia) to acupuncture. Kristen Dold, Marie Claire, "Could Acupuncture Get You Pregnant?," 18 Sep. 2017 Is that the message Ms. Harris thinks will grease her way to the nomination? Karl Rove, WSJ, "The Weirdness of American Politics," 23 Jan. 2019 In contrast to many of her peers who attained high office, Mrs. May shows little appetite for the glad-handing and backslapping that greases the wheels of British political life. Max Colchester, WSJ, "Theresa May’s Tough Line Scores Points but Clouds Brexit Path," 15 Jan. 2019 With a second Supreme Court nominee riding greased skids to Senate confirmation, the economy zooming and Democrats generally in a hopeless, angry mode, the summer of 2018 was shaping up rather well for Republicans. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Trump scores on his own goal," 16 July 2018 Mellon’s tax cuts unleashed a speculative frenzy that greased the nation’s way into a decade of Great Depression. Sam Pizzigati, Fortune, "Commentary: How Gary Cohn and Andrew Mellon Both Failed America," 9 Mar. 2018 Sounds like the perfect prep for the next swell of change makers poised to mastermind a world that is moving like greased lightning. Kerry Hannon, New York Times, "Visionaries With the Courage to Change the World," 24 May 2018 Lightly grease a 10-quart nonstick Bundt pan with shortening and dust with flour, tapping out excess. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Election Cake," 24 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grease.' 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 grease


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for grease


Middle English grese, from Anglo-French gresse, greisse, creisse, from Vulgar Latin *crassia, from Latin crassus fat

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Dictionary Entries near grease






grease band


Statistics for grease

Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grease

The first known use of grease was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for grease



English Language Learners Definition of grease

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: melted animal fat
: an oily substance



English Language Learners Definition of grease (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put a thin layer of grease or oil on (something)


\ ˈgrēs \

Kids Definition of grease

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a substance obtained from animal fat by melting
2 : oily material
3 : a thick lubricant


\ ˈgrēs , ˈgrēz\
greased; greasing

Kids Definition of grease (Entry 2 of 2)

: to coat or lubricate with an oily material

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Comments on grease

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