[ tur-puhn-tahyn ]

  1. any of various oleoresins derived from coniferous trees, especially the longleaf pine, Pinus palustris, and yielding a volatile oil and a resin when distilled.

  2. Also called Chian turpentine. an oleoresin exuded by the terebinth, Pistacia terebinthus.

verb (used with object),tur·pen·tined, tur·pen·tin·ing.
  1. to treat with turpentine; apply turpentine to.

  2. to gather or take crude turpentine from (trees).

Origin of turpentine

1275–1325; late Middle English, alteration of Middle English ter(e)bentyn(e) <Medieval Latin ter(e)bentīna, for Latin terebinthīna, noun use of feminine of terebinthīnus of the turpentine tree, equivalent to terebinth(us) turpentine tree (<Greek terébinthos) + -īnus-ine1

Other words from turpentine

  • tur·pen·tin·ic [tur-puhn-tin-ik], /ˌtɜr pənˈtɪn ɪk/, tur·pen·tin·ous [tur-puhn-tin-uhs, ‐tahy-nuhs], /ˌtɜr pənˈtɪn əs, ‐ˈtaɪ nəs/, tur·pen·tin·y [tur-puhn-tahy-nee], /ˈtɜr pənˌtaɪ ni/, adjective
  • un·tur·pen·tined, adjective

Words Nearby turpentine

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use turpentine in a sentence

  • Spirits of turpentine rubbed in around the base of the horns, will arrest the disease in its incipient stages.

    Domestic Animals | Richard L. Allen

British Dictionary definitions for turpentine


/ (ˈtɜːpənˌtaɪn) /

  1. Also called: gum turpentine any of various viscous oleoresins obtained from various coniferous trees, esp from the longleaf pine, and used as the main source of commercial turpentine

  2. a brownish-yellow sticky viscous oleoresin that exudes from the terebinth tree

  1. Also called: oil of turpentine, spirits of turpentine a colourless flammable volatile liquid with a pungent odour, distilled from turpentine oleoresin. It is an essential oil containing a mixture of terpenes and is used as a solvent for paints and in medicine as a rubefacient and expectorant: Sometimes (esp Brit) shortened to: turps

  2. Also called: turpentine substitute, white spirit (not in technical usage) any one of a number of thinners for paints and varnishes, consisting of fractions of petroleum: Related adjective: terebinthine

  1. to treat or saturate with turpentine

  2. to extract crude turpentine from (trees)

Origin of turpentine

C14 terebentyne, from Medieval Latin terbentīna, from Latin terebinthīna turpentine, from terebinthus the turpentine tree, terebinth

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 turpentine


[ tûrpən-tīn′ ]

  1. A thin, easily vaporized oil that is distilled from the wood or resin of certain pine trees. It is used as a paint thinner and solvent. Chemical formula: C10H16.

  2. The sticky mixture of resin and oil from which this oil is distilled.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.