\ 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 team will now get to dedicate all its attention to the little oily fish through the Anchovy Bar. Justin Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "The most anticipated Bay Area restaurants of 2020," 8 Jan. 2020 Earlier this year, the company Omega Protein exceeded harvest limits in the bay by more than 30% on a bony and oily fish called Atlantic menhaden. Washington Post, "Fish oil firm may be barred from fishing in Chesapeake Bay," 19 Dec. 2019 Monte Reel describes how the oily bean that makes its way into so many of our modern foods exposes the genius and insanity of globalized commerce. Kathleen Hunter, Bloomberg.com, "House Votes to Impeach, Brexit Mandate in Action: Weekend Reads," 21 Dec. 2019 One is that the oily substance disrupts the lining of the lungs, interfering with their ability to expand. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "The Vaping-Related Lung Disease Outbreak May Be Coming to an End," 20 Dec. 2019 To cut the richness of an oily fish like sardines, Almeida suggests a red sparkler like the Portuguese Aphros Yakkos Vinhao Grande Reserva Espumante Tinto Bruto. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The Best Foods to Pair with Champagne," 19 Dec. 2019 Victor Garber is particularly good as an oily DuPont executive friendly with Bilott early on; that relationship will change. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Mark Ruffalo shines in legal drama 'Dark Waters,' which flows slowly but impressively," 26 Nov. 2019 Free radical fighter Vitamin E comes from oily foods in our diet. Cosby Stone, The Conversation, "Vitamin E and vaping injuries: What’s safe in your diet is rarely safe in your lungs," 22 Nov. 2019 Researchers have shown that some birds show a preference for certain oily smells, with some songbirds ditching the father of their chicks if a better smelling stud comes along. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Birds Sniff Each Other’s Bacteria to Help Choose a Mate," 11 Nov. 2019

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 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Oily.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oily. Accessed 19 January 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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More from Merriam-Webster on oily

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oily

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oily

Spanish Central: Translation of oily

Nglish: Translation of oily for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oily for Arabic Speakers

Comments on oily

What made you want to look up oily? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

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