[ noun grees; verb grees, greez ]
See synonyms for grease on
  1. the melted or rendered fat of animals, especially when in a soft state.

  2. fatty or oily matter in general; lubricant.

  1. Also called grease wool . wool, as shorn, before being cleansed of the oily matter.

  2. Also called grease-heel [grees-heel]. /ˈgrisˌhil/. Veterinary Pathology. inflammation of a horse's skin in the fetlock region, attended with an oily secretion.

  3. Informal. a bribe.

verb (used with object),greased, greasing.
  1. to put grease on; lubricate: to grease the axle of a car.

  2. to smear or cover with grease.

  1. to cause to occur easily; smooth the way; facilitate.

  2. Informal. to bribe.

Idioms about grease

  1. grease someone's palm. palm1 (def. 19).

Origin of grease

1250–1300; Middle English grese, grece, greice<Anglo-French grece, gresse,Old French craisse (French graisse) <Vulgar Latin *crassia, equivalent to Latin crass(us) fat, thick + -ia noun suffix

Other words from grease

  • greaseless, adjective
  • grease·less·ness, noun
  • greaseproof, adjective
  • re·grease, verb (used with object), re·greased, re·greas·ing.
  • un·greased, adjective
  • well-greased, adjective

Words that may be confused with grease

Words Nearby grease Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use grease in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for grease


noun(ɡriːs, ɡriːz)
  1. animal fat in a soft or melted condition

  2. any thick fatty oil, esp one used as a lubricant for machinery, etc

  1. Also called: grease wool shorn fleece before it has been cleaned

  2. Also called: seborrhoea vet science inflammation of the skin of horses around the fetlocks, usually covered with an oily secretion

verb(ɡriːz, ɡriːs) (tr)
  1. to soil, coat, or lubricate with grease

  2. to ease the course of: his education greased his path to success

  1. grease the palm of or grease the hand of slang to bribe; influence by giving money to

Origin of grease

C13: from Old French craisse, from Latin crassus thick

Derived forms of grease

  • greaseless, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with grease


In addition to the idioms beginning with grease

  • grease someone's palm
  • grease the wheels

also see:

  • elbow grease
  • like greased lightning
  • squeaky wheel gets the grease

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.