oint·​ment | \ ˈȯint-mənt How to pronounce ointment (audio) \

Definition of ointment

: a salve or unguent for application to the skin

Examples of ointment in a Sentence

You should put some ointment on that cut.
Recent Examples on the Web Zeichner recommends starting with an over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone ointment, applied twice daily. Sarah Wu, Glamour, "How to Get Rid of Redness on Your Face and What's Causing It," 1 July 2020 The one big fly in the ointment is that there's currently no bridge mode available for your WSL2 VM's network interface. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "What’s new in Windows 10 Build 2004," 26 June 2020 The products include hydrocortisone valerate cream, lidocaine ointment, and acetazolamide tablets. Ed Silverman, STAT, "States file a third lawsuit accusing dozens of generic drug makers of price fixing," 10 June 2020 Their carcasses are used to make a traditional medicinal ointment called tiger bone glue or paste. Rachael Bale, National Geographic, "Jaguar trafficking linked to Chinese investment in South America," 9 June 2020 First-aid kits Your first aid kit should include a fresh supply of insect repellent, bandages and ointments. Check expiration dates on any prescription and over-the-counter meds. Gary Garth, USA TODAY, "Considering a camping trip this summer? Tips to make sure your gear is good to go," 25 May 2020 Nor will drinking tonic water, eating high-alkaline foods, stuffing antibiotic ointment up your nose, downing vodka or any home elixir. Washington Post, "Virus-afflicted 2020 looks like 1918 despite science’s march," 5 May 2020 According to Bundles, neither Walker nor Malone invented an ointment made of petroleum jelly and sulfur that aided in healing women's scalps. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Was Addie Munroe a true rival of Madam C.J. Walker and other questions about 'Self Made'," 3 Apr. 2020 Doctors treated me with a variety of topical ointments but never suspected that whatever the cause the ugliness was coming from within. Robin Antalek, Longreads, "The Bigamist’s Daughter," 22 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ointment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ointment

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ointment

Middle English, alteration of oynement, from Anglo-French uignement, oignement, ultimately from Latin unguentum, from unguere to anoint; akin to Old High German ancho butter, Sanskrit anakti he salves

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ointment

Time Traveler for ointment

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for ointment

Last Updated

12 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ointment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ointment. Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ointment


How to pronounce ointment (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ointment

: a smooth substance that is rubbed on the skin to help heal a wound or to reduce pain or discomfort


oint·​ment | \ ˈȯint-mənt How to pronounce ointment (audio) \

Kids Definition of ointment

: a thick greasy medicine for use on the skin


oint·​ment | \ ˈȯint-mənt How to pronounce ointment (audio) \

Medical Definition of ointment

: a salve or unguent for application to the skin specifically : a semisolid medicinal preparation usually having a base of fatty or greasy material

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ointment

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!