\ ˈȯi-lē How to pronounce oily (audio) \
oilier; oiliest

Definition of oily

1 : of, relating to, or consisting of oil
2a : covered or impregnated with oil oily rags
b : relatively high in naturally secreted oils oily skin oily hair
3 : excessively smooth or suave in manner

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Other Words from oily

oilily \ ˈȯi-​lə-​lē How to pronounce oilily (audio) \ adverb
oiliness \ ˈȯi-​lē-​nəs How to pronounce oiliness (audio) \ noun

Examples of oily in a Sentence

The liquid has an oily feel. a pile of oily rags The salad dressing was very oily.
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Recent Examples on the Web The avocado made a similar error by putting energy into producing plump, oily fruits with enormous pits to entice mastodons and other now-extinct megafauna. Barry Estabrook, WSJ, "Two Books on Creatures Invasive and Incredible," 9 Oct. 2020 Refineries that once processed oil for export are rusting hulks, leaking crude that blackens shorelines and coats the water in an oily sheen. Isayen Herrera, New York Times, "Venezuela, Once an Oil Giant, Reaches the End of an Era," 7 Oct. 2020 That includes thick-crusted and square-cut Sicilian-style pizza, which looks just as imposing as deep-dish, but features a lighter and less oily crust. Nick Kindelsperger, chicagotribune.com, "The 25 best pizzas in Chicago — from scrappy newcomers to beloved classics," 7 Oct. 2020 But more than eight months later, a resident reports the site on Commonwealth Street is unsecured, easily accessible, with pits of oily pollution remaining and the roof caving in. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Months later, I-696 'green ooze'-tied Detroit site still contaminated mess," 5 Oct. 2020 Pharmaceuticals are specifically after the sharks’ oily livers, which produce a compound called squalene. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, "500,000 Sharks Could Be Killed in the Race to Produce a Covid-19 Vaccine," 5 Oct. 2020 Each one offers a refreshing fragrance without leaving behind any oily residue. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "This Aromatherapy Showerhead Turned My Bathroom into a Personal Spa," 1 Oct. 2020 In between wash days or after a workout, mist Living Proof’s signature dry shampoo onto your oily scalp, to help soak up excess grease and help neutralize odor. NBC News, "National Hair Day: Best products from Sephora, Ulta and more," 1 Oct. 2020 Strurgess’ partner, Charlie Rowley, reportedly spilled some of the contents of the perfume bottle onto his hands, but immediately washed off the oily residue. Robert Chilcott, Ars Technica, "Novichok: How are victims surviving poisoning?," 5 Sep. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for oily

Time Traveler

The first known use of oily was in the 14th century

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Statistics for oily

Last Updated

14 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Oily.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oily. Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for oily

How to pronounce oily (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of oily

: having the smooth or greasy quality of oil
: covered or soaked with oil
: containing or producing a large amount of oil
\ ˈȯi-lē How to pronounce oily (audio) \
oilier; oiliest

Kids Definition of oily

: covered with or containing a greasy substance oily rags

Other Words from oily

oiliness noun
\ ˈȯi-lē How to pronounce oily (audio) \
oilier; oiliest

Medical Definition of oily

1 : of, relating to, or consisting of oil
2 : excessively high in naturally secreted oils oily hair oily skin

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