drying oil

Save This Word!

any of a group of oily, organic liquids occurring naturally, as linseed, soybean, or dehydrated castor oil, or synthesized, that when applied as a thin coating absorb atmospheric oxygen, forming a tough, elastic layer.
There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?

Origin of drying oil

First recorded in 1860–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is drying oil?

Drying oil is a kind of oil that hardens when exposed to air and forms a tough, elastic layer on the surface that it’s applied to.

Drying oils come from both natural and artificial sources. Naturally derived drying oils include linseed oil, soybean oil, dehydrated castor oil, and tung oil, among others.

Drying oils were traditionally used as a base for paints and varnishes, but they have other applications. Tung oil, for example, is used as a finishing oil in woodworking to give wood a water-resistant finish.

Example: I prefer to finish my pieces with a drying oil such as tung oil.

Where does drying oil come from?

The term drying oil has been used since at least the 1860s. The word drying in the term means “designed to become or capable of becoming dry and hard on exposure to air.”

The quality that makes drying oils particularly useful is that they harden when they’re exposed to air through the process of oxidation. This can create a glossy, water-resistant finish when applied to surfaces like wood. Or it can create desirable qualities for products like paint and varnish when used as a base, though this use has become less common due to the introduction of other substances used for this purpose.

Did you know ... ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with drying oil

What are some words that often get used in discussing drying oil?

How is drying oil used in real life?

There are different kinds of drying oils with different applications.



Try using drying oil!

Which of the following oils is an example of a drying oil?

A. linseed oil
B. soybean oil
C. tung oil
D. all of the above

How to use drying oil in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for drying oil

drying oil

one of a number of animal or vegetable oils, such as linseed oil, that harden by oxidation on exposure to air: used as a base for some paints and varnishes
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