[loo-bri-kuh nt]


a substance, as oil or grease, for lessening friction, especially in the working parts of a mechanism.


capable of lubricating; used to lubricate.

Origin of lubricant

1815–25; < Latin lūbricant- (stem of lūbricāns), present participle of lūbricāre to make slippery. See lubric, -ant
Related formsnon·lu·bri·cant, nounun·lu·bri·cant, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for lubricant

coating, oil, grease, wax, silicone

Examples from the Web for lubricant

Contemporary Examples of lubricant

Historical Examples of lubricant

British Dictionary definitions for lubricant



a lubricating substance, such as oil


serving to lubricate

Word Origin for lubricant

C19: from Latin lūbricāns, present participle of lūbricāre. See lubricate
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

Word Origin and History for lubricant

1828, probably from lubricant (adj.), or from Latin lubricantem.


"reducing friction," 1809, from Latin lubricantem (nominative lubricans), present participle of lubricare "to make slippery or smooth," from lubricus "slippery; easily moved, sliding, gliding;" figuratively "uncertain, hazardous, dangerous; seductive," from PIE *sleubh- "to slip, slide" (see sleeve).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper