View synonyms for grease


[ noun grees; verb grees, greez ]


  1. the melted or rendered fat of animals, especially when in a soft state:

    She always saves the bacon grease to fry her eggs and potatoes in.

  2. fatty or oily matter in general; lubricant:

    The auto mechanic’s overalls were stained with engine grease and motor oil.

    The golfer admitted to using a little grease on the face of his driver to reduce sidespin.

  3. Informal. a bribe.
  4. Also called grease wool [grees, w, oo, l]. shorn wool before being cleaned of the oily matter.
  5. Also called grease-heel [grees, -heel]. Veterinary Pathology. inflammation of a horse's skin in the fetlock region, accompanied by an oily secretion.

verb (used with object)

, greased, greasing.
  1. to lubricate by putting a fatty or oily substance on:

    I think I need to grease my bike chain a little—it’s not moving smoothly.

  2. to smear or cover with a fatty or oily substance:

    Grease the baking sheet before spooning the dough onto it.

    In pioneer days they sometimes made windows out of greased paper.

  3. to cause to occur easily or smoothly; facilitate:

    Extra incentives were offered to grease the trade deal.

    If it looks like it’ll be an awkward social engagement, he has a stiff drink first to grease the proceedings.

  4. Informal. to bribe.



  1. animal fat in a soft or melted condition
  2. any thick fatty oil, esp one used as a lubricant for machinery, etc
  3. Also calledgrease wool shorn fleece before it has been cleaned
  4. Also calledseborrhoea vet science inflammation of the skin of horses around the fetlocks, usually covered with an oily secretion


  1. to soil, coat, or lubricate with grease
  2. to ease the course of

    his education greased his path to success

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

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Derived Forms

  • ˈgreaseless, adjective

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Other Words From

  • grease·less adjective
  • grease·less·ness noun
  • grease·proof adjective
  • re·grease verb (used with object) regreased regreasing
  • un·greased adjective
  • well-greased adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of grease1

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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of grease1

C13: from Old French craisse, from Latin crassus thick

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. grease (someone's) palm, to bribe:

    The only way to get a permit in this town is to grease the commissioner's palm.

More idioms and phrases containing grease

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

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Example Sentences

Some of my teammates sat in the nearby parking lot running their bike chains through rags to clean the grease.

Levels of ammonia, oils and greases, phosphorus, nitrates, coliform bacteria and several substances associated with the presence of wastewater exceeded limits set in both countries.

When the pot has cooled, wipe out any remaining grease with a paper towel and burn that.

Again, this step requires a lot of elbow grease, so bear that in mind.

Those individuals the doctors could not attend to dressed their wounds with generous amounts of vaseline and axle grease smeared onto their limbs.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 6, 1/2-cup ramekins and set aside.

It has faded from pixelated gray to rusted ochre, fringed on the edges with black sweat grease.

But at least Obama does seem to genuinely loathe the sucking up required to grease the wheels.

No longer swimming in the dough, means less money for the adult industry to grease the partnership wheels.

The owners can grease a lot of palms with revenues like that.

At the back, near a stand that racked a number of grease guns, he saw a second telephone fixed to the wall.

From the canvas wrapping George took out and tossed on the counter a square packet wrapped in grease-paper.

A lack of processed candles and kerosene oil left only grease and wax to be utilized for making handmade candles.

Bill looked at his watch and suggested that they eat first before they got all over grease by monkeying with the rear end.

He found much lost motion and four broken teeth, and he was grease to his eyebrows—in other words, he was happy.


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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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