tung oil

[ tuhng ]
/ tʌŋ /
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a yellow drying oil derived from the seeds of a tung tree, Aleurites fordii, used in varnishes, linoleum, etc.
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Origin of tung oil

1880–85; tung<Chinese tóng tung tree
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does tung oil ​mean?

Tung oil is a type of oil made from the seeds of the tung tree. Tung oil is a drying oil, which is a kind of oil that hardens when exposed to air and forms a tough, elastic layer on the surface that it’s applied to.

These qualities are why drying oils like tung oil are used as a base for some paints and varnishes, such as those used in woodworking. Tung oil can be applied to wood to give it a water-resistant finish.

The tung tree is known for its use in making tung oil and for that reason it is sometimes called the tung-oil tree. The tree is native to China and tung oil is sometimes sold or labeled as Chinese wood oil. 

Example: My aunt is a woodworker, and she prefers to use tung oil instead of artificial varnishes.

Where does tung oil come from?

The first records of the term tung oil come from the 1880s. It comes from a partial translation of the Chinese yu t’ung, in which yu means “oil” and t’ung means “tung tree.”

Tung oil is preferred as a finishing oil by some woodworkers for a variety of reasons, especially for being water-resistant and creating a glossy finish.

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What are some synonyms for tung oil?

  • Chinese wood oil

What are some words that share a root or word element with tung oil

What are some words that often get used in discussing tung oil?

How is tung oil used in real life?

Tung oil is used by woodworkers.



Try using tung oil!

True or False? 

Tung oil is sometimes labeled as Chinese wood oil.

How to use tung oil in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tung oil

tung oil
/ (tʌŋ) /

a fast-drying oil obtained from the seeds of a central Asian euphorbiaceous tree, Aleurites fordii, used in paints, varnishes, etc, as a drying agent and to give a water-resistant finishAlso called: Chinese wood oil

Word Origin for tung oil

partial translation of Chinese yu t'ung tung tree oil, from yu oil + t'ung tung tree
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