oil

[ oil ]
/ ɔɪl /

noun

verb (used with object)

adjective

Idioms

    pour oil on troubled waters, to attempt to calm a difficult or tense situation, as an argument.
    strike oil,
    1. to discover oil, especially to bring in a well.
    2. to have good luck, especially financially; make an important and valuable discovery: They struck oil only after years of market research.

Origin of oil

1125–75; Middle English olie, oile < Old French < Latin oleum, olīvum (olive) oil < *oleivum (cf. Deus) < dialectal Greek *élaiwon (Attic élaion), derivative of *elaíwā olive

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for pour oil on troubled waters

oil

/ (ɔɪl) /

noun

verb (tr)

Derived Forms

oil-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

Medicine definitions for pour oil on troubled waters

oil

[ oil ]

n.

Any of numerous mineral, vegetable, and synthetic substances and animal and vegetable fats that are generally slippery, combustible, viscous, liquid or liquefiable at room temperatures, soluble in various organic solvents such as ether but not in water, and used in a great variety of products, especially lubricants and fuels.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for pour oil on troubled waters

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.

Culture definitions for pour oil on troubled waters

pour oil on troubled waters


To calm a disturbance: “His ideas caused real dissension within the party at first, but he poured oil on troubled waters in last night's speech.”

Note

In ancient times, oil was often poured on ocean waves to calm turbulence, a practice that would be denounced today.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with pour oil on troubled waters (1 of 2)

pour oil on troubled waters


Soothe or calm down something or someone, as in The twins are quarreling so I'd best go pour oil on troubled waters. This term alludes to an ancient practice of pouring oil on ocean waves to calm their turbulence, which was mentioned in the eighth century. [Mid-1800s]

Idioms and Phrases with pour oil on troubled waters (2 of 2)

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.