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[loo-bri-keyt] /ˈlu brɪˌkeɪt/
verb (used with object), lubricated, lubricating.
to apply some oily or greasy substance to (a machine, parts of a mechanism, etc.) in order to diminish friction; oil or grease (something).
to make slippery or smooth; apply a lubricant to:
to lubricate one's hands with a lotion.
to smooth over, as a difficulty or human relationship; ease:
to lubricate the friction between enemies.
Slang. to provide with intoxicating drinks.
Slang. to bribe.
verb (used without object), lubricated, lubricating.
to act as a lubricant.
to apply a lubricant to something.
Slang. to drink or become drunk.
Origin of lubricate
1615-25; < Latin lūbricātus, past participle of lūbricāre to make slippery. See lubric, -ate1
Related forms
lubrication, noun
lubricational, adjective
lubricative, adjective
[loo-bri-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈlu brɪ kəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
nonlubricating, adjective
overlubricate, verb (used with object), overlubricated, overlubricating.
overlubrication, noun
relubricate, verb (used with object), relubricated, relubricating.
relubrication, noun
self-lubricated, adjective
self-lubricating, adjective
self-lubrication, noun
unlubricated, adjective
unlubricating, adjective
unlubricative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for lubrication
Historical Examples
  • Another cause of oil stains is the use of mineral oils in the lubrication of cotton machinery.

  • Neat's-foot oil comes from the feet of cattle and is also used in lubrication.

    A Civic Biology George William Hunter
  • If valve was blocked to open rear port slightly, this would provide for lubrication and the cylinder head need not be loosened.

  • All engines of this make are provided with an automatic system of lubrication.

    Steam Engines Anonymous
  • First let us give a little attention to the theory of lubrication.

    Farm Engines and How to Run Them James H. Stephenson
  • lubrication is a subject that should be studied by every gas-engine user.

  • lubrication seems to have been a rather constant problem, particularly in the early years.

  • The purpose of lubrication is to reduce friction between the two surfaces in contact.

    The Gasoline Motor Harold Whiting Slauson
  • In these larger European motors, castor-oil is used largely for lubrication.

    Aviation Engines Victor Wilfred Pag
  • Concluding that lubrication was necessary, he leaned over and licked it, acquiring a strong brass taste upon his tongue.

    Bizarre Lawton Mackall
British Dictionary definitions for lubrication


(transitive) to cover or treat with an oily or greasy substance so as to lessen friction
(transitive) to make greasy, slippery, or smooth
(intransitive) to act as a lubricant
Derived Forms
lubrication, noun
lubricational, adjective
lubricative, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin lūbricāre, from lūbricus slippery
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lubrication

1640s, "act of lubricating," noun of action from lubricate (v.). Earlier were lubifraction (1540s).



1620s, "to make slippery or smooth" (especially by the application of an oil), from Latin lubricatus, past participle of lubricare "to make slippery or smooth," from lubricus "slippery" (see lubricant (adj.)). Related: Lubricated; lubricating. Earlier verb was lubrify (1610s), from Medieval Latin lubrificare.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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