• synonyms


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

Examples from the Web for self-lubricating

Historical Examples of self-lubricating

  • Presently there were mutual introductions across the fronded celery and the self-lubricating ripe olive.

    Local Color

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • The body machine is self-building or self-growing, self-lubricating and self-repairing.

  • Pistons and glands are packed with soapstone, or other self-lubricating packing; and no oil is required except for bearings, etc.

  • The hubs of the links are bushed with bronze, and have a graphite "inlay," which makes them self-lubricating.

British Dictionary definitions for self-lubricating


  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 for lubricate

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 self-lubricating



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