ole·​ag·​i·​nous | \ ˌō-lē-ˈa-jə-nəs How to pronounce oleaginous (audio) \

Definition of oleaginous

1 : resembling or having the properties of oil : oily also : containing or producing oil
2 : marked by an offensively ingratiating manner or quality

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Other Words from oleaginous

oleaginously adverb
oleaginousness noun

Did You Know?

The oily oleaginous slipped into English through Middle French, coming from the Latin oleagineus, meaning "of an olive tree." Oleagineus itself is from the Latin olea, meaning "olive tree," and ultimately from the Greek elaia, meaning "olive." Oleaginous was at first used in a literal sense, as it still can be. An oleaginous substance is simply oily, and an oleaginous plant produces oil. The word took on its extended "ingratiating" sense in the 19th century.

Examples of oleaginous in a Sentence

the office manager greeted the corporate bigwigs with an oleaginous welcome that should have embarrassed him

Recent Examples on the Web

Eggplant sponges up so much olive oil in the traditional caponata recipe that the end result often is a caponata that is cloyingly oleaginous. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Caponata, a mosaic of foods from Sicily," 26 June 2019 Trump and Vice President Pence responded with lies (blaming the Obama administration), deflection (blaming Democrats in Congress) and lots of oleaginous faux concern. Eugene Robinson, The Mercury News, "Robinson: Humanitarian crisis at the border is of Trump’s making," 25 June 2019 The growing clamor for greasy bacon, sausages stuffed with supple lard, and pork chops oozing with deep, scrumptious, oleaginous flab is so strong, in fact, that a problem has developed. Julie Wernau, WSJ, "America Has a Bacon Problem: Our Pigs Aren’t Fat Enough," 28 July 2017 Open vats bubbled with a dark oleaginous resin used to remove feathers. Yan Cong, Smithsonian, "Is China Ground Zero for a Future Pandemic?," 25 Oct. 2017 The overall effect was like a school speech-ceremony, addressed by a too oleaginous guest speaker. The Economist, "Jeremy Corbyn’s Brighton speech marks the surrender of Labour’s moderates," 27 Sep. 2017 First, Tillerson was introduced by Tailgunner Ted Cruz, which got everyone's morning off to a fairly oleaginous start. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "This Might Be the Only Trump Cabinet Pick That Doesn't Make It Through," 11 Jan. 2017 Sometime around 2000, Sater got to know a neighbor, Tevfik Arif, an oleaginous former Soviet official from Kazakhstan. Andrew Rice, Daily Intelligencer, "The Original Russia Connection," 3 Aug. 2017 Smith is louder and more polarizing (thus creating more interest) where Bayless is an aging, oleaginous wrestling heel. Richard Deitsch, SI.com, "Media Mailbag: Would Bill Simmons return to ESPN?," 29 June 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for oleaginous

Middle English, from Middle French oleagineux, from Latin oleagineus of an olive tree, from olea olive tree, from Greek elaia

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The first known use of oleaginous was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for oleaginous


ole·​ag·​i·​nous | \ ˌō-lē-ˈaj-ə-nəs How to pronounce oleaginous (audio) \

Medical Definition of oleaginous

: resembling or having the properties of oil also : containing or producing oil

More from Merriam-Webster on oleaginous

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oleaginous

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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