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

With the crises in Venezuela, Haiti has been receiving less oil, forcing officials to buy fuel on the open market. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "Haiti’s low fuel prices unfairly benefit the rich and need to be raised, IMF says," 12 July 2018 The United States has imposed sanctions on Russian oil, metals and banking companies. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "A Diamond Giant Plays Up Its Russian Ties to Appeal to Americans," 11 July 2018 When the fries drop into the hot oil, the batter, made mostly of uncooked starch, cooks instantaneously to form the crispy outer layer. Rachel Abrams, The Seattle Times, "Out of the fryer and into the Uber car: Idaho-based Lamb Weston trying to deliver crispy fries," 3 July 2018 The Vos Thalassa, an Italian tug assisting an oil rig, rescued the migrants from a human traffickers’ boat on Sunday. Washington Post, "Rescued migrants questioned in Sicily about alleged threats," 13 July 2018 Founded as an oil distributor by businessman Carl Kiel in 1960, the company expanded into the gas station business. Brian Slodysko, The Courier-Journal, "Cleanup of Pence family's failed gas stations cost Indiana taxpayers $20M," 13 July 2018 Founded as an oil distributor by businessman Carl Kiel in 1960, the company expanded into the gas station business. Brian Slodysko, chicagotribune.com, "Cleanup of Pence family gas stations cost Indiana more than $20 million," 13 July 2018 On Wednesday, Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven, walked out of a federal prison in Southern California, joined oil magnate Forrest Lucas aboard his private jet, and flew home to Burns, Oregon. Jake Bullinger, Outside Online, "Trump’s Pardon Condones Western Rebellion," 12 July 2018 Jihadists connected to al-Qaeda and IS have attacked Western embassies, hotels and oil facilities in the Sahel. The Economist, "Jihadists are trying to take over the Sahel," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Then oil your hands again and play the piano on the soft dough, creating dimples all over, an inch apart or so. Alex Beggs, Bon Appetit, "Be a Person Who Makes Focaccia on the Regular," 6 Mar. 2018 Transfer pizza dough to hot grill grate, oiled side down, and cook, covered, until top begins to bubble and bottom is crisp, about 2 minutes. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "BBQ Italian Sausage and Pepper Pie," 28 July 2017 While their midfield may not contain such stellar names, the engine room is nonetheless a capable and well-oiled machine. SI.com, "How Far Can Liverpool Superstar Mohamed Salah Carry the Pharoahs at the FIFA World Cup?," 9 May 2018 Place calzones, oiled side down, on griddle and cook until deeply browned, pressing gently with a spatula to create contact with griddle, about 5 minutes. Ignacio Mattos, Bon Appetit, "Breakfast Calzones," 23 Apr. 2018 But his success has been oiled by a healthy squirt of good luck. The Economist, "Social democracy is floundering everywhere in Europe, except Portugal," 12 Apr. 2018 In December's major federal tax legislation, an amendment bolstered by Alaska's congressional delegation — and ferried through by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, chair of the Energy Committee — opened the coastal plain of ANWR to oil exploration. Erica Martinson, Anchorage Daily News, "Native corporations would get share of ANWR oil revenues under federal budget amendment," 12 June 2018 Such dwellings have oiled paper in place of glass windows. Greg Daugherty, Smithsonian, "When Paper Clothing Was the Perfect Fit," 25 May 2018 The best advice my mother gave me is to oil cleanse. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "12 Women Share the Beauty Secrets Their Mothers Taught Them," 11 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

12 Sep 2018

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 \

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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Comments on oil

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