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castor oil

noun
1.
a colorless to pale yellow, viscid liquid, usually obtained from the castor bean by a pressing process: used as a lubricant, in the manufacture of certain soaps and creams, and in medicine chiefly as a cathartic.
Also called ricinus oil.
Origin
1740-1750
1740-50; castor (perhaps variant spelling of caster) + oil; perhaps so called because of its purgative effect
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for castor oil

castor oil

noun
1.
a colourless or yellow glutinous oil obtained from the seeds of the castor-oil plant and used as a fine lubricant and as a cathartic
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
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castor oil in Medicine

castor oil cas·tor oil (kās'tər)
n.
A colorless or pale yellowish oil extracted from the seeds of the castor-oil plant, used pharmaceutically as a laxative and skin softener and industrially as a lubricant.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for castor oil

nonvolatile fatty oil obtained from the seeds of the castor bean, Ricinus communis, of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). It is used in the production of synthetic resins, plastics, fibres, paints, varnishes, and various chemicals including drying oils and plasticizers. Castor oil is viscous, has a clear and colourless to amber or greenish appearance, a faint characteristic odour, and a bland but slightly acrid taste, with a usually nauseating aftertaste.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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