from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A thin volatile terpenoid essential oil, C10H16, obtained by steam distillation or other means from the wood or exudate of certain pine trees and used as a paint thinner, solvent, and medicinally as a liniment.
  • noun The sticky mixture of resin and volatile oil from which turpentine is distilled.
  • noun A brownish-yellow resinous liquid obtained from the terebinth.
  • transitive verb To apply turpentine to or mix turpentine with.
  • transitive verb To extract turpentine from (a tree).

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make or gather turpentine.
  • noun An oleoresinous substance secreted by the wood or bark of a number of trees, all coniferous except the terebinth, which yields Chian turpentine.
  • noun The oil or spirit of turpentine; turps: an ordinary but less precise use.
  • To apply turpentine to; rub with turpentine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A semifluid or fluid oleoresin, primarily the exudation of the terebinth, or turpentine, tree (Pistacia Terebinthus), a native of the Mediterranean region. It is also obtained from many coniferous trees, especially species of pine, larch, and fir.
  • noun (Chem.) a colorless oily hydrocarbon, C10H16, of a pleasant aromatic odor, obtained by the distillation of crude turpentine. It is used in making varnishes, in medicine, etc. It is the type of the terpenes and is related to cymene. Called also terebenthene, terpene, etc.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of several species of small tortricid moths whose larvæ eat the tender shoots of pine and fir trees, causing an exudation of pitch or resin.
  • noun (Bot.) the terebinth tree, the original source of turpentine. See Turpentine, above.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a volatile essential oil obtained from the wood of pine trees by steam distillation; it is a complex mixture of monoterpenes; it is used as a solvent and paint thinner

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

  • noun volatile liquid distilled from turpentine oleoresin; used as paint thinner and solvent and medicinally
  • noun obtained from conifers (especially pines)


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

[Middle English, resin of the terebinth, from Old French terebentine, from Latin terebinthina (rēsīna), terebinth (resin), from Greek terebinthinē, feminine of terebenthinos, from terebinthos, terebinth tree.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English turbentine, ultimately from Ancient Greek τερέβινθος (terébinthos, "terebinth tree").


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  • This reminds me of my favorite line from Young Guns 2.

    Sheriff Kimbel, when ordered to go after Billy The Kid, had this to say in reply: "I'd rather drink turpentine and piss on a brush fire."

    Wonderful imagery.

    November 15, 2008

  • y serpentine

    May 1, 2009