lu·​bri·​cant ˈlü-bri-kənt How to pronounce lubricant (audio)
: a substance (such as grease) capable of reducing friction, heat, and wear when introduced as a film between solid surfaces
: something that lessens or prevents friction or difficulty
a social 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 Joints are wrapped in a capsule of connective tissue that secretes synovial fluid as a lubricant when the joints are moved. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 9 May 2024 If the potential mess of petroleum jelly deters you, here are some other easy ways to fix a stuck zipper: Pencil Graphite: Rub the graphite tip of a pencil along the zipper teeth to act as a dry lubricant, helping to reduce friction and loosen the zipper. Maryal Miller Carter, USA TODAY, 4 Apr. 2024 In one shocking incident, the FAA saw Spirit mechanics applying liquid Dawn soap to a door seal as a lubricant. Alan Murray, Fortune, 13 Mar. 2024 It’s also used in a variety of products including lubricants, dyes, detergents and drugs. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, 6 Mar. 2024 Investing more than 21,000 man hours a year from more than 50 technical staff, Shell provides race fuels like the Shell V-Power fuel and lubricants like the low viscosity engine oil Shell Helix Ultra to propel Scuderia Ferrari. Michael Loré, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2024 Those include battery materials for EVs, refrigerants for heat pumps, epoxy, polyurethane, and lubricants for wind turbines, and solvents for semiconductors. Susan Galer, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 The switches also use different lubricant, which Cherry says reduces spring noise and produces smoother actuation. PCMAG, 27 Jan. 2024 Subsequent investigations have revealed further concerning safety measures, such as using Dawn dish soap as lubricant. Elizabeth Blackstock / Jalopnik, Quartz, 14 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lubricant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lubricant was circa 1828

Dictionary Entries Near lubricant

Cite this Entry

“Lubricant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


lu·​bri·​cant ˈlü-bri-kənt How to pronounce lubricant (audio)
: something (as a grease or oil) capable of reducing friction when applied between moving parts
lubricant adjective

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
lu·​bri·​cant ˈlü-bri-kənt How to pronounce lubricant (audio)
: serving to lubricate a surface or part


2 of 2 noun
: a substance that serves to lubricate a surface or part
normally, the intestinal passage requires no artificial lubricantE. B. Steen & Ashley Montagu

More from Merriam-Webster on lubricant

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