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lubricate

[loo-bri-keyt]
verb (used with object), lu·bri·cat·ed, lu·bri·cat·ing.
  1. to apply some oily or greasy substance to (a machine, parts of a mechanism, etc.) in order to diminish friction; oil or grease (something).
  2. to make slippery or smooth; apply a lubricant to: to lubricate one's hands with a lotion.
  3. to smooth over, as a difficulty or human relationship; ease: to lubricate the friction between enemies.
  4. Slang. to provide with intoxicating drinks.
  5. Slang. to bribe.
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verb (used without object), lu·bri·cat·ed, lu·bri·cat·ing.
  1. to act as a lubricant.
  2. to apply a lubricant to something.
  3. Slang. to drink or become drunk.
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Origin of lubricate

1615–25; < Latin lūbricātus, past participle of lūbricāre to make slippery. See lubric, -ate1
Related formslu·bri·ca·tion, nounlu·bri·ca·tion·al, adjectivelu·bri·ca·tive, adjectivelu·bri·ca·to·ry [loo-bri-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈlu brɪ kəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivenon·lu·bri·cat·ing, adjectiveo·ver·lu·bri·cate, verb (used with object), o·ver·lu·bri·cat·ed, o·ver·lu·bri·cat·ing.o·ver·lu·bri·ca·tion, nounre·lu·bri·cate, verb (used with object), re·lu·bri·cat·ed, re·lu·bri·cat·ing.re·lu·bri·ca·tion, nounself-lu·bri·cat·ed, adjectiveself-lu·bri·cat·ing, adjectiveself-lu·bri·ca·tion, nounun·lu·bri·cat·ed, adjectiveun·lu·bri·cat·ing, adjectiveun·lu·bri·ca·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

greaseoilanointsmearmakelardsmoothslickwaxcreamlubetallow

Examples from the Web for lubricating

Historical Examples

  • These are for lubricating oils and for the lighting of homes.

    Checking the Waste

    Mary Huston Gregory

  • He completed and patented his first lubricating cup in 1872.

  • In the storehouse were two barrels of gasoline, and also some lubricating oils.

  • Meanwhile I began to wonder how our benzine and lubricating oil were faring.

  • His tones were low, now, and as oily as a lubricating life-buoy.


British Dictionary definitions for lubricating

lubricate

verb
  1. (tr) to cover or treat with an oily or greasy substance so as to lessen friction
  2. (tr) to make greasy, slippery, or smooth
  3. (intr) to act as a lubricant
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Derived Formslubrication, nounlubricational, adjectivelubricative, adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin lūbricāre, from lūbricus slippery
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 lubricating

lubricate

v.

1620s, "to make slippery or smooth" (especially by the application of an oil), from Latin lubricatus, past participle of lubricare "to make slippery or smooth," from lubricus "slippery" (see lubricant (adj.)). Related: Lubricated; lubricating. Earlier verb was lubrify (1610s), from Medieval Latin lubrificare.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper