oil

noun, often attributive
\ ˈȯi(-ə)l \

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

Strict fasting laws allowed for one meal a day, so long as no meat, wine, oil, or dairy products were involved. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "When Is Lent? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 11 Jan. 2019 Overpriced oils from Aesop, creams from Ole Henriksen, and a cone of hot roasted chestnuts in half a dozen piazzas in Rome. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "A Culture Editor's Impulse Buys: $200 of Potions, Swedish Sweets, and More," 7 Jan. 2019 Then, using a fork, whisk the eggs and the oil in the well, and begin gradually incorporating the mixture into the surrounding flour. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Make Homemade Pasta Without a Machine," 7 Jan. 2019 There’s a sizable oil industry because of the Eagle Ford shale, a nearby geologic formation rich in petroleum. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "San Antonio, the nation’s fastest-growing city, sees downtown rebound," 23 Oct. 2018 But that's offset with additives like nourishing kale and winter cherry, skin-strengthening peptides, and marula and jojoba oils to help prevent any peeling that comes from retinol. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "Drunk Elephant's Vegan Retinol Doesn't Irritate My Sensitive Skin," 26 Dec. 2018 Issuing a new interpretation, the agency stated that the act’s protections apply only to activities that purposefully kill birds, giving industries a free pass for bird deaths, including those from major oil spills. Sarah Greenberger, Vox, "I worked in the Interior Department. Watching Zinke’s tenure was heartbreaking.," 21 Dec. 2018 If you’re pressed for time, hydrate bare nails with a hand cream or cuticle oil and hit with a four-sided buffer to achieve a smooth, even surface. Sarah Ferguson, Marie Claire, "3 Spots You're Forgetting About When Getting Ready," 11 Dec. 2018 Whenever your hair is feeling dry or straw-like, apply the oil to damp strands from mid-shaft to the ends. Redbook, "How to Look Like You Just Left the Salon," 27 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 To oil the grates, keep a small bowl or container of vegetable oil beside the grill. Nancy Stohs, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "5 meats to master on the grill: We went back to school to learn the best techniques," 29 May 2018 Parnham's many moving parts were oiled by the butler, with help from a housekeeper and, for a time, two cooks (one from France, the other from Dorset), who kept the flock fed. David Usborne, Town & Country, "The Mysterious Case of the Parnham House Fire," 29 May 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

17 Jan 2019

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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 \

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 \

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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