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

This, combined with its effectiveness in increasing blood flow, lubricating joints and decreasing muscle tightness, renders it the preferred method of pre-activity stretching. Sherri Leimkuhler, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Leimkuhler: Dymanic stretching decreases injuries," 31 Aug. 2019 The goods exempted from additional tariffs this week by China included pharmaceuticals, lubricating oil, alfalfa, fish meal and pesticides. Los Angeles Times, "China adds soybeans, pork to tariff exemptions before U.S. talks," 13 Sep. 2019 The vacuum pump is lubricated with engine oil that flows through a filter screen. NBC News, "GM recalls nearly 3.8M pickups, SUVs to fix brake issues," 11 Sep. 2019 The vacuum pump is lubricated with engine oil that flows through a filter screen. Tom Krisher, chicagotribune.com, "GM recalling almost 3.8 million SUVs, pickups over brake problem," 11 Sep. 2019 Nonetheless, the spread of these events shows that ordinary people have plenty of appetite for civic engagement and public debate—as long as it is lubricated by a couple of drinks and the odd ice-cream. R.d. | Paide, The Economist, "Why democracy festivals, a staple in northern Europe, are spreading," 9 Sep. 2019 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

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

2 Oct 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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