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[tur-puh n-tahyn] /ˈtɜr pənˌtaɪn/
any of various oleoresins derived from coniferous trees, especially the longleaf pine, Pinus palustris, and yielding a volatile oil and a resin when distilled.
Also called Chian turpentine. an oleoresin exuded by the terebinth, Pistacia terebinthus.
verb (used with object), turpentined, turpentining.
to treat with turpentine; apply turpentine to.
to gather or take crude turpentine from (trees).
Origin of turpentine
1275-1325; late Middle English, alteration of Middle English ter(e)bentyn(e) < Medieval Latin ter(e)bentīna, for Latin terebinthīna, noun use of feminine of terebinthīnus of the turpentine tree, equivalent to terebinth(us) turpentine tree (< Greek terébinthos) + -īnus -ine1
Related forms
[tur-puh n-tin-ik] /ˌtɜr pənˈtɪn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
[tur-puh n-tin-uh s, ‐tahy-nuh s] /ˌtɜr pənˈtɪn əs, ‐ˈtaɪ nəs/ (Show IPA),
[tur-puh n-tahy-nee] /ˈtɜr pənˌtaɪ ni/ (Show IPA),
unturpentined, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for turpentine


Also called gum turpentine. any of various viscous oleoresins obtained from various coniferous trees, esp from the longleaf pine, and used as the main source of commercial turpentine
a brownish-yellow sticky viscous oleoresin that exudes from the terebinth tree
Also called oil of turpentine, spirits of turpentine. a colourless flammable volatile liquid with a pungent odour, distilled from turpentine oleoresin. It is an essential oil containing a mixture of terpenes and is used as a solvent for paints and in medicine as a rubefacient and expectorant Sometimes (esp Brit) shortened to turps
(not in technical usage) Also called turpentine substitute, white spirit. any one of a number of thinners for paints and varnishes, consisting of fractions of petroleum related adjective terebinthine
verb (transitive)
to treat or saturate with turpentine
to extract crude turpentine from (trees)
Word Origin
C14 terebentyne, from Medieval Latin terbentīna, from Latin terebinthīna turpentine, from terebinthus the turpentine tree, terebinth
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 turpentine

early 14c., terbentyn, from Old French terebinte, from Latin terebintha resina "resin of the terebinth tree," from Greek rhetine terebinthe, from fem. of terebinthos, earlier terminthos "terebinth tree," probably from a non-Indo-European language. By 16c. applied generally to resins from fir trees.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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turpentine in Science
  1. A thin, easily vaporized oil that is distilled from the wood or resin of certain pine trees. It is used as a paint thinner and solvent. Chemical formula: C10H16.

  2. The sticky mixture of resin and oil from which this oil is distilled.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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