Definition of turpentine
1a : a yellow to brown semifluid oleoresin obtained as an exudate from the terebinthb : 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 turpentineb : a similar oil obtained by distillation or carbonization of pinewood —called also wood turpentine
Recent Examples of turpentine from the Web
To soothe cavities, Waters said her family relied on turpentine and cotton.
AFC foresters have inspected numerous spots, and the trees appear to be dying from a range of pests, including Southern pine beetle, Ips engraver beetle, and black turpentine beetle, or a combination of all three.
WAR AND TURPENTINEBy Stefan Hertmans Translated by David McKay Illustrated.
World's Weirdest: Hedgehogs Love Poisons Hedgehogs lather up with turpentine, tobacco, and other toxic substances.
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.
Origin and Etymology of turpentine
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
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Definition of turpentine
1 : to apply turpentine to
2 : to extract turpentine from; especially : to tap (pine trees) in order to obtain turpentine
TURPENTINE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of turpentine for English Language Learners
: a type of oil with a strong smell that is used to make paint thinner and to clean paint brushes
TURPENTINE Defined for Kids
Definition of turpentine for Students
: an oil made from resin and used as a solvent and as a paint thinner
Medical Definition of turpentine
1a: a yellow to brown semifluid oleoresin obtained as an exudate from the terebinth (Pistacia terebinthus) of the sumac familyb: 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 turpentineb: a similar oil obtained by distillation or carbonization of pinewood—called also wood turpentine
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up turpentine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).