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

grease, oil, slick, wax

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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

The difference is whether oil lubricates the clutches. Freep.com, "FREE PRESS INVESTIGATION: OUT OF GEAR Ford knew Focus, Fiesta models had flawed transmission, sold them anyway," 11 July 2019 These products lubricate your skin to cut down on friction. Dr. Roshini Raj, Health.com, "How to Avoid Thigh Chafing This Summer," 12 June 2019 Pearsall, and about 30 million others in the country, suffer from dry eye, a chronic disease that occurs when people can no longer produce enough quality tears to lubricate the entire eye surface. Catie Wegman, sun-sentinel.com, "Dry eye on the rise: What to know about the chronic disease," 8 July 2019 The world's global economy could not function without that supply of oil lubricating it. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Why the Strait of Hormuz is so important," 13 June 2019 Panels and their fasteners must be stored in the off-season, and in the case of mounting panels directly to a home, their lead or brass anchors must be lubricated. Kelly Dawson, House Beautiful, "How to Choose the Best Hurricane Shutters for Your Home," 7 June 2019 After a few hours of sitting, motor oil, which lubricates the parts in your engine, cools and sinks to the bottom. Alex Leanse, Popular Mechanics, "4 Unusual Ways to Make Your Car Last Longer," 20 Feb. 2017 Now, lubricate the cutting wheel on the glass cutter with a drop of lightweight cutting oil or machine oil. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Cut Glass," 11 Feb. 2019 This is a condition that happens when your eyes can’t lubricate themselves adequately, according to the National Eye Institute. Korin Miller, SELF, "How Bad Is It to Lick Your Contact, Then Put It Back In?," 19 July 2018

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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Statistics for lubricate

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lubricate

The first known use of lubricate was circa 1623

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More Definitions for lubricate

lubricate

verb

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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