turpentine

noun
tur·​pen·​tine | \ ˈtər-pən-ˌtīn How to pronounce turpentine (audio) , 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 Its signature vista is an inland rainforest of Kauri pines, giant ferns, and turpentine trees that can live for a thousand years. Matthew Abbott, Environment, "Another Australian wildfire ignites—in one of its most unique ecosystems," 18 Dec. 2020 Witnesses said airplanes dropped turpentine onto houses and businesses. Bethany Mollenkof, National Geographic, "Coffins unearthed as the search for victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre continues," 26 Oct. 2020 Monroe was the proud son of Sophie Goins and John Monroe, whose family had a thriving lumber business in North Carolina, then a successful turpentine business in Rosewood. Washington Post, "How a scholarship helped — and didn't help — descendants of victims of the 1923 Rosewood racial massacre.," 3 Apr. 2020 Most needle bearing trees produce a sticky sap that is loaded with turpentine. Tim Macwelch, Popular Science, "Eight ways an evergreen tree could save your life," 26 Dec. 2019 Most needle bearing trees produce a sticky sap that is loaded with turpentine. Tim Macwelch, Popular Science, "Eight ways an evergreen tree could save your life," 26 Dec. 2019 Most needle bearing trees produce a sticky sap that is loaded with turpentine. Tim Macwelch, Popular Science, "Eight ways an evergreen tree could save your life," 26 Dec. 2019 This ethereal scene is interrupted by a splash of turpentine that erases the color and returns us to the reality of the bare canvas and the artist’s spontaneous actions upon it. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Romare Bearden’s Rarely Seen Abstract Side," 19 Mar. 2020 Their houses were leveled by turpentine bombs dropped from airplanes, making Tulsa the first U.S. city ever bombed by air. Simon Norfolk, National Geographic, "Pardoned, 33 years after his death," 10 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for turpentine

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for turpentine

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Turpentine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turpentine. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce turpentine (audio) \

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- How to pronounce turpentine (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on turpentine

Nglish: Translation of turpentine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about turpentine

Comments on turpentine

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