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

Example Sentences

The car's axles need more lubricant. using humor as a social lubricant
Recent Examples on the Web The particular lubricant did not matter, and neither did her choice of substrate. Gregory Mone, Discover Magazine, 22 Mar. 2013 Alcohol is called a ‘social lubricant’ for a reason. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 30 Dec. 2022 After a long day of tension, go no farther than Common Bond's lubricant to get things rolling! Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 20 Dec. 2022 During water collection, the water droplets form on the very top of the T, which is coated with a slippery lubricant. Dallas News, 21 Nov. 2022 This a popular lubricant, especially for linear switches like the MX Black Clear-Top. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 4 Nov. 2022 The internal lubrication system has been revised to handle higher cornering forces and doesn't require filling with extra lubricant for track events. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, 3 Oct. 2022 For stubborn scuffs, try a lubricant like WD-40 or Goo Gone. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, 16 Dec. 2022 Finally, squirt some lubricant of your choice on the blade to prevent it from rusting. Kat De Naoum, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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 28 Jan. 2023.

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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