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 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 Market asymmetry decreased sharply, equalizing and lubricating the market for Magic cards. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "The Entire History of World of Warcraft," 23 Apr. 2020 An engine's key internal components should always have a thin coating of oil to keep them lubricated and protected; as your vehicle sits, gravity slowly pulls the oil down to the crankcase. Maxwell B. Mortimer, Car and Driver, "What Should I Do to Care for My Car While I'm Staying at Home?," 10 Apr. 2020 Manu breathes heavily through her nose, unmoving, while a man spits into his hand to lubricate himself. Nadja Spiegelman, The New York Review of Books, "As Clean as Rage," 8 Apr. 2020 Most recently, green tribology works to address environmental problems such as how to lubricate the mechanisms of a wind turbine. Adrienne Bernhard, Popular Mechanics, "How the Obscure Science of Rubbing Built the Past and Will Shape the Future," 7 Apr. 2020 The mucus also lubricates the snail and contains a special protein that absorbs moisture. National Geographic, "Partula snail," 26 Mar. 2020 After a grueling workout, refuel your body and lubricate your muscles with a combo of frozen mango, trace amounts of undisclosed grain alcohol, coconut water, and chia seeds. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "17 New Hard Drinks the World Isn’t Ready For," 4 Mar. 2020 As a result, the meltwater lubricates the shelf and accelerates its movement out to sea. Matt Simon, Wired, "The Big (Yet Hidden) Consequences of Antarctica's Record Heat," 11 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

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lubricate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lubricate. Accessed 4 Jun. 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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