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 One important factor was how lubricated the surface is, the team discovered. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Could this desert beetle help humans harvest water from thin air?," 27 Nov. 2019 Doctors tried lubricating the area around the bottle and the tongue, twisting, turning and pulling, to no avail. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "Under pressure: How a doctor's wine hack freed a boy's tongue stuck in a bottle," 31 Oct. 2019 Meltwater on the glacier’s surface trickles down through cracks in the ice, creating a stream beneath the glacier that lubricates its flow over land and spills into the ocean. Jennifer Leman, Scientific American, "Alarming Sonar Results Show Glaciers May Be Melting Faster Than We Expected," 26 July 2019 Second, use a lubricating eye drop before extended computer use. Phillip Yuhas, Quartz, "Blue light isn’t the main cause of eye fatigue and sleep loss," 8 Nov. 2019 Libra would lubricate life in the rich world and revolutionise it in poor countries, where basic financial services are dear and often scarce. The Economist, "Is Libra doomed?," 24 Oct. 2019 Misters, placed on the outside of the tube, further lubricate the interior with water and allow the fish to breathe. Eli Francovich, The Seattle Times, "More than a viral sensation, the Salmon Cannon could bring the species back to the Upper Columbia after 90 years," 19 Aug. 2019 Shelton pointed a finger at Pitbull, his fellow performer at the Pendleton Whisky Music Fest, for getting him a little too lubricated. Lydia Price, PEOPLE.com, "16 Brave Singers Who Survived Absolutely Brutal Stage Falls," 18 Oct. 2019 Sisler, now 30 and the founder of a Boston software company, has taught Evan how to shave and how to lubricate a bicycle chain. BostonGlobe.com, "Traumatic events and toxic relationships during childhood can cast long shadows, often damaging mental health well into adulthood.," 16 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for lubricate

Time Traveler

The first known use of lubricate was circa 1623

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Statistics for lubricate

Last Updated

11 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Lubricate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lubricative?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=l&file=lubric06. Accessed 16 December 2019.

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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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