a can having a long spout through which oil is poured or squirted to lubricate machinery or the like.

Origin of oilcan

First recorded in 1830–40; oil + can2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oilcan

Historical Examples of oilcan

  • There was a saddlebag with spanner and oilcan, but no clue as to the owner.

    The Valley of Fear

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Sergeant Silk snatched the oilcan from Joe Halkett's grip and handed it to the fireman.

  • On the iron table stood an oilcan, and the small indicator-clock showed a few minutes to ten.

  • Telling the fireman he could go to sleep, he moved about the engine with an oilcan and afterwards cleaned the fire.

  • He found some waste and an oilcan in the tool-chest, and polished until the metal shone.

    Where the Blue Begins

    Christopher Morley

British Dictionary definitions for oilcan



a container with a long nozzle for applying lubricating oil to machinery
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