[ wel-oild ]

  1. operating with efficiency: a well-oiled department.

  2. Slang. drunk.

Origin of well-oiled

First recorded in 1730–40

Words Nearby well-oiled

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use well-oiled in a sentence

  • The key turned easily—no rust there—the springs and the tumblers had been well oiled, like the hinges.

    Tiger Cat | David H. Keller
  • The road over which the auto-bus rolled was wide and well oiled—a splendid automobile track.

    Ruth Fielding At College | Alice B. Emerson
  • Then the handle of the door was softly turned, and the door itself, moving on its well-oiled hinges, was gently pushed inward.

  • After a long rest all the bearings should be well oiled, the lamp refilled, and the machine generally overhauled.

  • It had fallen into the moss, but the well-oiled, perfect-fitting chamber had kept its cartridges dry.

    The Backwoodsmen | Charles G. D. Roberts

British Dictionary definitions for well-oiled


  1. (well oiled when postpositive) informal drunk

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