Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To apply a lubricant to.
  • transitive v. To make slippery or smooth.
  • intransitive v. To act as a lubricant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make slippery or smooth (normally to minimize friction) by applying a lubricant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To make smooth or slippery.
  • transitive v. To apply a lubricant to, as oil or tallow.
  • transitive v. To reduce social frictions or difficulties between people, thus making cooperation easier and joint action smoother.
  • transitive v. To inebriate by supplying with alcoholic beverages.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make smooth or slippery; supply or smear with some substance, especially one of an oily or greasy nature, for the purpose of diminishing friction: as, to lubricate the bearings of a machine.
  • In photography, to coat or smear (a print) with some glazing agent, as Castile soap dissolved in alcohol, or a compound of beeswax and Venice turpentine, as a preliminary to burnishing.
  • Slippery.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. have lubricating properties
  • v. make slippery or smooth through the application of a lubricant
  • v. apply a lubricant to

Etymologies

Latin lūbricāre, lūbricāt-, from lūbricus, slippery; see sleubh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin lubricatus, past participle of lubricare ("to make slippery"), from lubricus ("slippery"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I use the term 'lubricate' because a recent study showed how researchers could pick out orgasmic women by simply watching them walk.

    Suzie Heumann: Enlightened Sex: Movement For Freeing Orgasm

  • Also HAARP can facilitate earthquakes in that it boils water in thedeep rock layers and may 'lubricate' the faultlines to slip.

    OpEdNews - Diary: I may be a nutjob but I wonder if this new flu was genetically engineered?

  • The State claims the money was meant to "lubricate" provincial approval of the R550 million project - approval that came only after the two men made personal interventions in the process.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Another claims Reich was "sexually excited" during an exam and told her she needed to "lubricate" herself through self stimulation so that he could properly diagnose an infection.

    CNN Transcript Dec 2, 2005

  • How to "lubricate" your joints … this will help your body produce more anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.

    MyLinkVault Newest Links

  • The arabs could then use their oil to "lubricate" their camels.

    Examiner California Headlines

  • Geophysicists talk about lubricating fault to prevent extreme rupture (very controversial); perhaps economists need to find a way to lubricate the economy so that bubbles will break earlier, thus causing less destruction.

    Matthew Yglesias » 20/20 Vision is Accurate

  • NASA wants to lubricate as much of the joint as possible to keep it functioning properly in the years ahead without any shuttle visits.

    Spacewalking astronauts encounter bolt trouble

  • Half were for drilling mud, the carefully engineered goo that was used to lubricate and cool the drill bit as it ground its way down through the rock beneath the surface of the ocean.

    Gideon’s war

  • The second was a more ambitious plan where Google would essentially create a scaffolding on the web to lubricate social activities.

    In the Plex

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