[ oil ]
/ ɔɪl /
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any of a large class of substances typically unctuous, viscous, combustible, liquid at ordinary temperatures, and soluble in ether or alcohol but not in water: used for anointing, perfuming, lubricating, illuminating, heating, etc.
a substance of this or similar consistency.
refined or crude petroleum.
Informal. unctuous hypocrisy; flattery.
an oilskin garment.
Australian and New Zealand Slang. facts or news; information: good oil.
verb (used with object)
to smear, lubricate, or supply with oil.
to make unctuous or smooth: to oil his words.
to convert into oil by melting, as butter.
pertaining to or resembling oil.
using oil, especially as a fuel: an oil furnace.
concerned with the production or use of oil: an offshore oil rig.
made with oil.
obtained from oil.
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Idioms about oil
- to discover oil, especially to bring in a well.
- to have good luck, especially financially; make an important and valuable discovery: They struck oil only after years of market research.
pour oil on troubled waters, to attempt to calm a difficult or tense situation, as an argument.
Origin of oil
OTHER WORDS FROM oil
oilless, adjectiveoil·less·ness, nounoillike, adjectivere·oil, verb
self-oiling, adjectiveun·oil·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use oil in a sentence
Then he coolly fell to oiling his rifle, while a fresh wave of fear passed over the shivering Denton.Menotah|Ernest G. Henham
By a little carefully directed oiling of water a few boys may make an almost uninhabitable region absolutely safe to live in.A Civic Biology|George William Hunter
Crow at his Toilette, oiling his long hair with bears grease.
As they rested, the big dark fellow took a bottle from his pocket and began oiling the saw.Freckles|Gene Stratton-Porter
When it has been oiled along the top half, the wheels should be revolved sufficiently to bring the other half on top for oiling.The Sportswoman's Library, v. 2|Various
British Dictionary definitions for oil
/ (ɔɪl) /
any of a number of viscous liquids with a smooth sticky feel. They are usually flammable, insoluble in water, soluble in organic solvents, and are obtained from plants and animals, from mineral deposits, and by synthesis. They are used as lubricants, fuels, perfumes, foodstuffs, and raw materials for chemicalsSee also essential oil, fixed oil
- another name for petroleum
- (as modifier)an oil engine; an oil rig
- Also called: lubricating oil any of a number of substances usually derived from petroleum and used for lubrication
- (in combination)an oilcan; an oilstone
- (as modifier)an oil pump
Also called: fuel oil a petroleum product used as a fuel in domestic heating, industrial furnaces, marine engines, etc
- paraffin, esp when used as a domestic fuel
- (as modifier)an oil lamp; an oil stove
any substance of a consistency resembling that of oiloil of vitriol
the solvent, usually linseed oil, with which pigments are mixed to make artists' paints
- (often plural) oil colour or paint
- (as modifier)an oil painting
an oil painting
the good oil or the dinkum oil Australian and NZ slang facts or news
- to discover petroleum while drilling for it
- informal to become very rich or successful
to lubricate, smear, polish, etc, with oil or an oily substance
informal to bribe (esp in the phrase oil someone's palm)
oil the wheels to make things run smoothly
Derived forms of oiloil-like, adjective
Word Origin for oil
C12: from Old French oile, from Latin oleum (olive) oil, from olea olive tree, from Greek elaia olive
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
Scientific definitions for oil
[ oil ]
Any of a large class of viscous liquids that are typically very slippery and greasy. Oils are composed mostly of glycerides. They are flammable, do not mix with water, and include animal and vegetable fats as well as substances of mineral or synthetic origin. They are used in food, soap, and candles, and make good lubricants and fuels. See essential oil mineral oil petroleum.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with oil
see banana oil; burn the midnight oil; grease (oil) someone's palm; grease (oil) the wheels; pour oil on troubled waters; strike it rich (oil).
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.