lu·​bri·​cant | \ ˈlü-bri-kənt How to pronounce lubricant (audio) \

Definition of lubricant

1 : a substance (such as grease) capable of reducing friction, heat, and wear when introduced as a film between solid surfaces
2 : something that lessens or prevents friction or difficulty a social lubricant

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Other Words from lubricant

lubricant adjective

Examples of lubricant in a Sentence

The car's axles need more lubricant. using humor as a social lubricant

Recent Examples on the Web

This month, port engineers de-rated the load capacity of the Terminal 1 dock adjacent to petroleum, oil and lubricant dock No. 1 because of earthquake damage, according to Jager. Author: Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Discovery of more earthquake damage adds to troubles at Port of Alaska," 17 July 2019 Clio will release a clitoral stimulator as part of its August expansion, along with a mini personal massager, cleaning wipes and a lubricant. Katie Van Syckle, New York Times, "The Man Who’s Putting More Sex Toys on Walmart’s Shelves," 3 July 2019 German startup Closelink is helping companies manage something else: their lubricants. John Konrad,, "The next global tech disruption will happen where few expect it," 28 June 2019 Sabathia was making his first start off the IL in Sunday night’s 8-5 loss to the Red Sox, after having a cortisone and lubricant shot in his arthritic knee, which has no cartilage. Kristie Ackert,, "Second Dallas Keuchel bidding war begins today; Yankees need him more than most," 3 June 2019 When you're done, allow the lubricant on the towel to evaporate, then burn the towel or soak it in water before throwing it away. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "What's the Best Way to Clean Drill Bits?," 5 Aug. 2017 Two protesters who splattered two police officers with buckets full of lubricant and glitter during a Patriot Prayer rally in downtown Portland last summer were sentenced Friday to five days in jail., "2 Portland protesters who doused cops with buckets of glitter mixed with lubricant get 5 days in jail," 7 June 2019 The fuel was also the lubricant for many of the engines’ moving parts—and the soot produced early on gave the lower section of the nozzle more protection from the heat of the growing flame within. Oliver Morton, WIRED, "The Beauty and Madness of Sending a Man to the Moon," 4 June 2019 Lack of lubricant can result in a stuck or broken tap. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Build a Beautiful Log Rack," 14 Feb. 2015

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

circa 1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near lubricant

lube oil





lubricating oil


Statistics for lubricant

Last Updated

6 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lubricant

The first known use of lubricant was circa 1828

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More Definitions for lubricant



English Language Learners Definition of lubricant

: a substance (such as grease or oil) that causes something (such as a machine part) to be slippery and to move more smoothly
: something that makes it easier for people to work or talk with each other


lu·​bri·​cant | \ ˈlü-bri-kənt How to pronounce lubricant (audio) \

Kids Definition of lubricant

: something (as oil or grease) that makes a surface smooth or slippery


lu·​bri·​cant | \ ˈlü-bri-kənt How to pronounce lubricant (audio) \

Medical Definition of lubricant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: serving to lubricate a surface or part



Medical Definition of lubricant (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance that serves to lubricate a surface or part normally, the intestinal passage requires no artificial lubricant— E. B. Steen & Ashley Montagu

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More from Merriam-Webster on lubricant

Spanish Central: Translation of lubricant

Nglish: Translation of lubricant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lubricant for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about lubricant

Comments on lubricant

What made you want to look up lubricant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period when something is suspended

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