turpentine

noun
tur·​pen·​tine | \ˈtər-pən-ˌtīn, ˈtər-pᵊm-\

Definition of turpentine 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a yellow to brown semifluid oleoresin obtained as an exudate from the terebinth

b : an oleoresin obtained from various conifers (as some pines and firs)

2a : an essential oil obtained from turpentines by distillation and used especially as a solvent and thinner

called also gum turpentine

b : a similar oil obtained by distillation or carbonization of pinewood

called also wood turpentine

turpentine

verb
turpentined; turpentining

Definition of turpentine (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to apply turpentine to

2 : to extract turpentine from especially : to tap (pine trees) in order to obtain turpentine

Examples of turpentine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On May 30, 1921, thousands of white Tulsans instigated a race riot, brutally attacking the town’s African-American community—machine guns and even airplanes dropping turpentine conspired to destroy Greenwood. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "10 Streets that Changed America," 5 July 2018 Her sculptures, videos, photographs, and installations evoke pine forests, alligators, and the turpentine industry. BostonGlobe.com, "The Ticket: What’s happening in the local arts world," 20 Apr. 2018 Contessa's neighbor had been using turpentine to clean paint off a table, the man explains. Leila Atassi, cleveland.com, "Misfortune befalls the Korpers, 2 weeks after moving into their new home: A Greater Cleveland," 14 Mar. 2018 Other products made at the Mackie factory -- which was taken over by Delta Pine Products around the 1940s -- included turpentine, axle grease, paint and pine tar. Mike Scott, NOLA.com, "Once upon a time in Covington: The story of the 'heart pine house'," 5 Mar. 2018 In one notorious treatment, turpentine was injected into a patient’s abdominal wall in the hope of encouraging a fever high enough to burn away her hallucinations. Parul Sehgal, New York Times, "Medicine Can Soothe a Troubled Mind, but Not Without Costs," 27 Feb. 2018 The museum includes numerous replicas of buildings of the type used by early settlers, including a copper turpentine still, corn crib, 19th century church, log cabins and more. AL.com, "Take a road trip to south Alabama's picturesque covered bridges," 6 Feb. 2018 The sticks were daubed with smells like (to English-speaking sensibilities) leather, orange, fish, garlic and turpentine. The Economist, "Perception and languageHow people name sensations depends on those sensations’ salience," 18 Jan. 2018 All woodwork, desks, chairs, tables and doors should be wiped off with a cloth wet with linseed, kerosene and turpentine. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "How did the worldwide influenza epidemic 100 years ago impact Houston?," 15 Jan. 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1759, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for turpentine

Noun

Middle English terbentyne, turpentyne, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French terebentine, from Medieval Latin terbentina, from Latin terebinthina, feminine of terebinthinus of terebinth, from terebinthus terebinth, from Greek terebinthos

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

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More Definitions for turpentine

turpentine

noun

English Language Learners Definition of turpentine

: a type of oil with a strong smell that is used to make paint thinner and to clean paint brushes

turpentine

noun
tur·​pen·​tine | \ˈtər-pən-ˌtīn \

Kids Definition of turpentine

: an oil made from resin and used as a solvent and as a paint thinner

turpentine

noun
tur·​pen·​tine | \ˈtər-pən-ˌtīn, ˈtərp-ᵊm- \

Medical Definition of turpentine 

1a : a yellow to brown semifluid oleoresin obtained as an exudate from the terebinth (Pistacia terebinthus) of the sumac family

b : an oleoresin obtained from various conifers (as some pines and firs)

2a : an essential oil obtained from turpentines by distillation and used especially as a solvent and thinner

called also oil of turpentine

b : a similar oil obtained by distillation or carbonization of pinewood

called also wood turpentine

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