lubricate

verb
lu·​bri·​cate | \ ˈlü-brə-ˌkāt How to pronounce lubricate (audio) \
lubricated; lubricating

Definition of lubricate

transitive verb

1 : to make smooth or slippery
2 : to apply a lubricant to

intransitive verb

: to act as a lubricant

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Other Words from lubricate

lubrication \ ˌlü-​brə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce lubrication (audio) \ noun
lubricative \ ˈlü-​brə-​ˌkā-​tiv How to pronounce lubricative (audio) \ adjective
lubricator \ ˈlü-​brə-​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce lubricator (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for lubricate

Synonyms

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Examples of lubricate in a Sentence

it's not a good idea to use olive oil to lubricate the gears in an appliance
Recent Examples on the Web So, yeah: A drug extracted from indigenous knowledge to lubricate European colonialist impulses went on to power the military adventures of the latter 20th century and save millions of lives. Adam Rogers, Wired, "The Strange and Twisted Tale of Hydroxychloroquine," 11 Nov. 2020 Squalene has plenty of plant and animal sources (including humans, who produce it to lubricate and protect their skin). Katherine J. Wu, New York Times, "Coronavirus Vaccine Makers Are Not Mass-Slaughtering Sharks," 13 Oct. 2020 Repeat the previous steps to clean and lubricate the remaining hinge pins. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "Common Home Repairs You Can Do on Your Own," 25 Aug. 2020 Frothy oil can't be pumped and will not lubricate the engine. Motormouth Bob Weber, Star Tribune, "Motormouth: When storing car, don't disconnect battery," 14 Aug. 2020 These sediments serve to lubricate the boundary region, helping one plate to slide against the other and limiting the buildup of stresses that causes earthquakes. National Geographic, "Why the Oaxaca earthquake made buildings sway hundreds of miles away," 23 June 2020 There were plenty of liquid funds to lubricate trading. The Economist, "Buttonwood To understand the new wave of small investors, look to China," 20 June 2020 Even though many are already lubricated, adding some more lube can help avoid this problem. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "19 Condom Mistakes You Don't Want to Make," 29 Aug. 2019 Instead of lubricating profits, however, Canada’s tar sands are bunged-up with protests against new pipelines. The Economist, "The giant next door Canadian tar sands offer lessons for American shalemen," 27 Feb. 2020

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

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for lubricate

Latin lubricatus, past participle of lubricare, from lubricus slippery — more at sleeve

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Time Traveler for lubricate

Time Traveler

The first known use of lubricate was circa 1623

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Statistics for lubricate

Last Updated

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lubricate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lubricate. Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for lubricate

lubricate

verb
How to pronounce lubricate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lubricate

: to make (something) smooth or slippery : to apply a lubricant to (something, such as a machine or a part of a machine)

lubricate

verb
lu·​bri·​cate | \ ˈlü-brə-ˌkāt How to pronounce lubricate (audio) \
lubricated; lubricating

Kids Definition of lubricate

: to apply oil or grease to in order to make smooth or slippery Mechanics lubricated the gears.

lubricate

transitive verb
lu·​bri·​cate | \ ˈlü-bri-ˌkāt How to pronounce lubricate (audio) \
lubricated; lubricating

Medical Definition of lubricate

: to make smooth, slippery, or oily in motion, action, or appearance lubricate the eye lubricate the skin

Other Words from lubricate

lubrication \ ˌlü-​brə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce lubrication (audio) \ noun

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Comments on lubricate

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