lu·​bri·​cant | \ ˈlü-bri-kənt \

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

The company’s results included a $930 million gain from the settlement of a contract in its energy exploration operations, and a gain of $350 million from the sale of southern African refining, marketing and lubricant assets. WSJ, "Chevron’s Profit More Than Doubles," 2 Nov. 2018 Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is popping up in everything from beauty products to personal lubricants, vapes, and candy. Allure, "12 CBD Tinctures, Gummies, and Drinks That Help Calm Anxiety," 23 Oct. 2018 But for companies in the business of selling those other social lubricants—beer, wine and liquor—the calculus is very different. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Companies Betting on Pot May Be Worse Off When the Smoke Clears," 12 Oct. 2018 Marlon Brando’s character, Paul, rapes actress Maria Schneider’s character, Jeanne, using a stick of butter as lubricant. Anna North, Vox, "The disturbing story behind the rape scene in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris, explained," 26 Nov. 2018 Kim at a lubricant factory The leader was all smiles while watching an unknown substance squeeze out of a machine and into a blue canister at the Chonji Lubricant Factory. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Kim Jong Un's bizarre North Korea propaganda photos," 13 Aug. 2018 Located at the tip of the Horn of Africa, the 36-hectare base has a 1,300-foot long airstrip plus control tower, aircraft hangars, and semi-underground storage facilities for petroleum, oil, and machine lubricants. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Satellite Images Spy China's First Overseas Military Base," 9 Nov. 2017 For chronic dryness issues, Dr. Samuels recommends a lubricant or vaginal moisturizer like Replens Silky Smooth. The Editors, Marie Claire, "10 Reasons Sex Can Be Painful," 18 Aug. 2017 Investigators said Maruna sent naked photos of himself to the teen, and ahead of their meet-up agreed to bring lubricant, a chicken Alfredo dish and Sprite. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Man who tried to seduce teen boy with Sprite and chicken Alfredo is sentenced," 19 June 2018

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

8 Jan 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 \

Kids Definition of lubricant

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


lu·​bri·​cant | \ ˈlü-bri-kənt \

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).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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