- oil rendered from whale blubber, formerly widely used as a fuel for lamps and for making soap and candles.
Origin of whale oil
late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for whale oil
Whale-oil was whale-oil then, and whale-oil and New Bedford were synonymous.
For fire, the Eskimo depends on whale-oil and animal grease.The Story of the Trapper
A. C. Laut
For borers and rabbits wash with whale-oil soap, digging out any borers that may be in with a knife.The Apple
The Grocers seem to have at one time dealt in whale-oil and wool.Old and New London
The little room was lighted by a whale-oil lamp on the wall.Jerome, A Poor Man
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
- oil obtained either from the blubber of whales (train oil) or the head of the sperm whale (sperm oil)
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