Meaning of OIL in English

I. ˈȯi]l dial ˈī]l, esp before pause or consonant ]əl\ noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English olie, oile, from Old French, from Latin oleum olive oil, oil, from Greek elaion, from elaia olive — more at olive


a. : any of various substances that typically are unctuous viscous combustible liquids or solids easily liquefiable on warming and are not miscible with water but are soluble in ether, naphtha, and often alcohol and other organic solvents, that leave a greasy not necessarily permanent stain (as on paper or cloth), that may be of animal, vegetable, mineral, or synthetic origin, and that are used according to their types chiefly as lubricants, fuels and illuminants, as food, in soap and candles, and in perfumes and flavoring materials — compare essential oil , fat , fatty oil , mineral oil

b. : petroleum

2. : a substance of an oily consistency: as

a. : a cosmetic preparation containing oil

bath oil

hair oil

sunburn oil

b. : nitroglycerin


a. : an oil color used by an artist

paints in oils

b. : a painting done in oil colors

suggests that his best oils retain the sharp conviction of his sketches — J.T.Soby

4. : unctuous or flattering speech : smooth or persuasive utterance

it's just the old oil — Harris Downey

5. slang Australia : information

6. oils plural : stocks or bonds of oil companies

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English oilen, from oile, n.

transitive verb

1. obsolete : to anoint ceremonially with oil (as a king at coronation)


a. : to smear or rub over with oil : furnish or feed with oil : lubricate

carefully oiled the bearings of the machine

liberal contributions oiled the campaign machinery

b. : to spray oil on (a dirt road)

3. : to make bland or smooth

I learned to use a soft voice to oil my words — Lillian Smith

4. : to turn into or make of the consistency of oil (as grease by melting)

intransitive verb


a. : to become like oil in consistency

b. : to separate with the formation of an oily portion (as butter fat) — used with off

cream poured into hot coffee oils off

2. : to take on fuel oil — used chiefly of ships and locomotives

- oil the hand

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.