American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- 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.
- n. Petroleum.
- n. A petroleum derivative, such as a machine oil or lubricant.
- n. A substance with an oily consistency.
- n. Oil paint.
- n. A painting done in oil paint.
- n. Insincere flattery.
- v. To lubricate, supply, cover, or polish with oil.
- idiom. hand Informal To bribe: an attorney who tried to oil the judge's hand to obtain a favorable verdict.
- idiom. hand Informal To give a tip to: oiled the porter's palm.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The general name for a class of bodies which have all or most of the following properties in common: they are neutral bodies having a more or less unctuous feel and viscous consistence, are liquid at ordinary temperatures, are lighter than water, and are insoluble in it, but dissolve in alcohol and more readily in ether, and take fire when heated in air, burning with a luminous smoky flame. The oils are divided into three classes, which have very different chemical composition and properties: the fatty or fixed oils, essential or volatile oils, and the mineral oils. The fatty or fixed oils leave a permanent greasy stain on paper, are distinctly unctuous to the feel, and differ from fats chiefly in being liquid at ordinary temperatures. (See
fat.) Both are triglycerides of the fatty acids. The fatty oils are of both animal and vegetable origin, and are subdivided into the drying and the non-drying oils. The former class includes all oils which thicken when exposed to the air through the absorption of oxygen. and are converted thereby into varnish, as, for example, linseed-, nut-, poppy-, and hempseed- oils. The non-drying oils when exposed to the air also undergo a change induced by fermentation, resulting in the formation of acrid, disagreeably smelling, acid substances. The fixed vegetable oils are generally prepared by subjecting the seeds of the plant to pressure; the animal oils are, for the most part, the fluid parts of the fat of animals. Fixed oils are used as lubricants, as sources of artificial light, for the manufacture of soaps, and for many other purposes in the arts. Essential or volatile oils are generally obtained by distilling the vegetables which afford them with water; they are acrid, caustic, aromatic, and limpid, and are mostly soluble in alcohol, forming essences. They boil at a temperature considerably above that of boiling water, some of them undergoing partial decomposition. Chemically considered, some are pure hydrocarbons (terpines), but most of them are mixtures of terpines with certain camphors and resins. They absorb oxygen quite rapidly, producing ozone, which gives to them bleaching properties. They are used chiefly in medicine and perfumery; and a few of them are extensively employed in the arts as vehicles for colors, and in the manufacture of varnishes, especially oil of turpentine. Mineral oils, petroleum and its derivatives, are mixtures of hydrocarbons, some being exclusively paraffins, others containing varying quantities of hydrocarbons of the ole-fine and benzene series. They are only of mineral origin, while the fatty and essential oils are solely of animal and vegetable origin. The mineral oils are now most largely used as sources of artificial light. Oil has been used for religious and ceremonial purposes under Judaism and Christianity as well as in other religions. Under the Mosaic law it was mingled with or poured upon the flour or meal of the offerings at the consecration of priests and Levites, those at the daily sacrifices, etc., and “meat-offerings” (meal-offerings) in general. Kings, priests, and prophets were anointed with oil (whence the title Messiah or Christ). The oil for the sanctuary and for unction of priests was mixed with myrrh, cinnamon, calamus, and cassia (Ex. xxx. 22–33). In the Christian church anointing inanimate objects with oil signifies hallowing or dedicating them to God, and unction of persons symbolizes the bestowal of the gifts or graces of the Holy Ghost and personal consecration to God's service. See the phrase holy oil, below. For the use of oil in storms at sea. see oil-distributer.
- n. Specifically Oil as used for burning in a lamp, to afford light: as, to burn the midnight oil (alluding to nocturnal study).
- n. An oil of indifferent scent from the Lebanon cedar.
- n. Oil of chrism, oil mixed with balsam, or with wine and aromatics, used at baptism, confirmation, coronation of sovereigns, etc.: also called chrism.
- n. Oil of the sick, oil used at the unction of the sick. See euchelaion and unction.
- n. Especially, in the Greek Church, oil which has been in contact with a relic or other sacred object, or has been taken from a church lamp.
- n. Oil of myrcia.
- n. Punishment with a birchen switch; a beating.
- To smear or rub over with oil; prepare for use by the application of oil: as, to oil a rag; oiled paper or silk.
- To anoint with oil.
- To render smooth by the application of oil; lubricate: as, to oil machinery; hence, figuratively, to render oily and bland; make smooth and pleasing.
- to make it water-proof, as in China, Japan, etc., where oiled paper is extensively used for umbrellas, water-pails, lanterns, rain-clothes, etc.
- In chem., a termination denoting an ether derived from a phenol: as, anisoïl (formerly called anisol).
- n. Indian geranium or palmarosa oil (formerly called Turkish geranium-oil), a fragrant essential oil distilled from the leaves of Andropogon Schœnanthus, used in perfumery. It comes from the Bombay Presidency in India.
- n. Liquid fat.
- n. Petroleum-based liquid used as fuel or lubricant.
- n. An oil painting.
- v. transitive To lubricate with oil.
- v. transitive To grease with oil for cooking/
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Any one of a great variety of unctuous combustible substances, more viscous than and not miscible with water; They are of animal, vegetable, or mineral origin and of varied composition, and they are variously used for food, for solvents, for anointing, lubrication, illumination, etc. By extension, any substance of an oily consistency.
- v. To smear or rub over with oil; to lubricate with oil; to anoint with oil.
- n. oil paint containing pigment that is used by an artist
- v. cover with oil, as if by rubbing
- n. a slippery or viscous liquid or liquefiable substance not miscible with water
- v. administer an oil or ointment to ; often in a religious ceremony of blessing
- n. any of a group of liquid edible fats that are obtained from plants
- n. a dark oil consisting mainly of hydrocarbons
- Middle English oile ("olive oil"), from Anglo-Norman olie, from Latin oleum ("oil, olive oil"), from Ancient Greek ἔλαιον (elaion, "olive oil"), from ἐλαία (elaía, "olive"). More at olive. Supplanted Old English æle, also from Latin. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French oile, from Latin oleum, olive oil, from Greek *elaiwon, elaion, from *elaiwā, elaiā, olive. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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“George W. Bush runs the risk of alienating the worlds biggest source of oil with his plan to end Americas oil addiction, Opec delegates, oil ministers, energy experts and even some environmentalists said yesterday.”
“Add 12 ounces of beeswax to a gallon of linseed oil, and boil it two hours; prime the cloth with this mixture, and use the same in place of _boiled oil_ for mixing the paint.”
“Moab abounded with flocks, particularly with sheep; * it abounded also with oil; and Balak supposed that the divine favor might be obtained by sacrifices of this kind -- by a profusion of them -- _thousands of ram, and ten thousands of rivers of oil_.”
“He would offer all the cattle, and all the oil of his kingdom, _thousands of ram, and ten thousands of rivers of oil_!”
“Mucilage, camphor, and oil may be taken to neutralize cantharides: -- CANTHARIDES ... hair-grower ... _oil_ ... smooth-running”
“But as soon as the vermin have disappeared, let the oil be discontinued, as the _natural oil_ of the hair is, at other times, the only oil that is required on the head.”
“You have poured oil in the raw and festering wound of an old friend's conscience, Cottle! but it is _oil of vitriol!”
“I've added equipment (from plantdrive. com) so I can use vegetable oil as a fuel, but as long as I keep away from high sulfur canola oil*, I'm in the clear.”
“I got 2 boxes (12x2) 5w30 1qt NAPA syn oil for $2.99/qt and purolator filter for $1.25 a piece a few months back with my MM rebate cards (so basically oil+ filter is all FREE for me).”
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