oint·​ment | \ˈȯint-mənt \

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

Everything from unpretentious, unsexy Aquaphor ointment to crystal-clear lip gloss and everything in between. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "7 Ways to Highlight Your Face Without Using Actual Highlighter," 3 Oct. 2018 In 1919 the third artist—who some might call the fly in the ointment—arrived. Alexandra Bregman, WSJ, "When Chagall and Malevich Battled in Russia," 9 Aug. 2018 That Wilson’s worried about a stranger’s homework, in a room teeming with designer clothes, luxurious ointments, and staffers prepared to cater to her every whim, is touching. Olivia Horn, Vogue, "At Afropunk, H.E.R. Rules the Stage with Sunglasses, Space Buns, and a Feminist Message," 27 Aug. 2018 Just make sure to care for your tattoo and apply the A&D ointment with clean hands each time. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "How To Take Care of A Tattoo: 9 Tattoo Care Tips You Should Know," 9 July 2018 Don’t use eye drops or ointments. Don’t take over-the-counter pain relievers on the way to the emergency room. Naseem S. Miller, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Firework eye injury? Here's what to do," 3 July 2018 Your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid cream, ointment, or oral medication to help keep inflammation and itching at bay during flare-ups, the Mayo Clinic says. Korin Miller, SELF, "What Causes Eczema, Anyway?," 13 July 2018 Covering the mirror The gauze is applied to Korryn’s face almost like papier-mache, thin strips coated with a topical burn ointment. Angie Leventis Lourgos, chicagotribune.com, "After Lombard teen severely burned in bonfire explosion, friends bring prom to her," 19 May 2018 Luckily, as soon as you’re done, the doctor can give you an antihistamine and some ointment for the affected skin. Kendra Chanae Chapman, SELF, "I Have Severe Food Allergies, and These Are the 3 Comments I'm So Sick of Hearing," 14 May 2018

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

Dictionary Entries near ointment








Statistics for ointment

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ointment

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ointment



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 \

Kids Definition of ointment

: a thick greasy medicine for use on the skin


oint·​ment | \ˈȯint-mənt \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on ointment

Spanish Central: Translation of ointment

Nglish: Translation of ointment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ointment for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ointment

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).


a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!