oil

noun, often attributive
\ ˈȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce oil (audio) \

Definition of oil

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : any of numerous unctuous combustible substances that are liquid or can be liquefied easily on warming, are soluble in ether but not in water, and leave a greasy stain on paper or cloth
b(1) : petroleum
(2) : the petroleum industry
2 : a substance (such as a cosmetic preparation) of oily consistency bath oil
3a : an oil color used by an artist
b : a painting done in oil colors
4 : unctuous or flattering speech

oil

verb

Definition of oil (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to smear, rub over, furnish, or lubricate with oil

intransitive verb

: to take on fuel oil
oil the hand or oil the palm
: bribe, tip

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Synonyms for oil

Synonyms: Noun

canvas (also canvass), oil painting, painting

Synonyms: Verb

grease, lubricate, slick, wax

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Examples of oil in a Sentence

Noun

The price of crude oil is expected to rise. We heat our house with oil. A little bit of oil will help lubricate the chain. Add a little oil to the pan and stir-fry the onions. The dressing is made with oil, vinegar, and a pinch of herbs.

Verb

He oiled the bearings of the machine. if you oil the machinery on a regular basis, it will operate more efficiently
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These blocked pores appear raised due to plugs of oil and dead skin cells trapped beneath the surface. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "A Comprehensive Guide to the SkincareAddiction Subreddit," 5 Apr. 2019 Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Pea Fritters with Shrimp Salad," 7 Mar. 2019 With evidence pointing to huge oil and gas reserves, all of the surrounding countries want a piece of the pie. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "What You Need to Know About the South China Sea, the World's Next Hot Spot," 27 Feb. 2019 Iran has been unable to deliver oil to Syria since Jan. 2., according to maritime-data provider TankerTrackers.com. Jared Malsin, WSJ, "U.S. Sanctions Hit Iran’s Oil Lifeline to Syria," 22 Mar. 2019 Past sources say this combination has higher clarifying properties, and will rid your hair of dirt, debris, and oil build-up. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Bella Thorne Washes Her Hair With Beer and Yeah, I Have Questions," 20 Mar. 2019 But such advantages get amplified by the economies of scale that make the entire oil trade profitable. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "America's New Energy Coast," 19 Mar. 2019 The oil blend smells like citrus and is created especially to absorb nitrates, which eliminates any weird odors. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Banish Bathroom Smells Forever With LooLoo, a Hands-Free Toilet Freshener," 18 Mar. 2019 In small bowl, combine crushed fennel, garlic, thyme and 2 tablespoons oil. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Fennel and Thyme Pork Roast with Root Vegetables," 8 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lightly oil a large (10-by-15-inch) glass or metal baking dish. Arrange chicken, skin-side down, in dish. Adina Steiman, WSJ, "Eat Like a Model (And Still Be Satisfied)," 13 Sep. 2018 Dressed in a suit with pink tie, pocket handkerchief and sporting long hair, Gilfry seemed a kind of oily Elmer Gantry, further oiled by Aucoin's busily ingratiating chamber orchestra accompaniment. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "Walt Whitman's operatic America in 'Crossing' gets its West Coast premiere," 27 May 2018 And just like the stock market has eventually stopped doing what the president wants, so will oil prices. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Now that the stock market is down, Trump wants to take credit for oil prices," 27 Nov. 2018 And Kelly didn't have the calmest reaction to seeing her husband all oiled up — for everyone else to see. Cierra Williams, Good Housekeeping, "Kelly Ripa Flips Over Mark Consuelos's Latest 'Riverdale' Photo," 16 Nov. 2018 Consider these 10 serums, moisturizers, and oils your crash course in all-things bakuchiol. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "10 Skin-Care Products With Bakuchiol, aka the New Plant-Based Retinol Alternative," 26 Oct. 2018 In the latest iteration, Grenzke says the design team found solutions to problems wearers might never have considered, from the way that oils from sunscreen, sweat, and hair products break down the jacket’s laminate to hem creep. Heather Hansman, Outside Online, "How Arc'teryx Builds the World's Priciest Jackets," 25 Apr. 2018 Pita Taufatofua, the shirtless, oiled-up flag-bearing taekwondo competitor from Tonga who turned heads at the Summer Games in Rio two years ago is now trying his hand at being a cross-country skier. USA TODAY, "Bjoergen looks to extend dominance in cross country skiing," 11 Jan. 2018 Always Clean and Oil the Grill Grate Just Before Cooking To oil the grate, hold a wad of paper towels in tongs, then dip it in vegetable oil and run it over the hot, cleaned grate. Adam Ried, BostonGlobe.com, "Everything you need to know about using a charcoal grill," 29 June 2018

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for oil

Noun

Middle English oile, from Anglo-French, from Latin oleum olive oil, from Greek elaion, from elaia olive

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Statistics for oil

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oil

The first known use of oil was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for oil

oil

noun

English Language Learners Definition of oil

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a thick, black liquid that comes from the ground and that is used in making various products (such as gasoline)
: a type of oil that is used as a fuel to produce heat or light
: a type of oil that makes the different parts in an engine, machine, etc., run smoothly

oil

verb

English Language Learners Definition of oil (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put oil in or on (something)

oil

noun
\ ˈȯil How to pronounce oil (audio) \

Kids Definition of oil

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of numerous greasy usually liquid substances from plant, animal, or mineral sources that do not dissolve in water and are used especially as lubricants, fuels, and food
2 : petroleum
3 : paint made of pigments and oil
4 : a painting done in oils

oil

verb
oiled; oiling

Kids Definition of oil (Entry 2 of 2)

: to rub on or lubricate with a greasy substance

oil

noun
\ ˈȯi(ə)l How to pronounce oil (audio) \

Medical Definition of oil

1 : any of numerous unctuous combustible substances that are liquid or can be liquefied easily on warming, are soluble in ether but not in water, and leave a greasy stain on paper or cloth — see essential oil, fatty oil, volatile oil
2 : a substance (as a cosmetic preparation) of oily consistency bath oil

Other Words from oil

oil adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on oil

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oil

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oil

Spanish Central: Translation of oil

Nglish: Translation of oil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oil for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oil

Comments on oil

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