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[loo-bri-keyt] /ˈlu brɪˌkeɪt/
verb (used with object), lubricated, lubricating.
to apply some oily or greasy substance to (a machine, parts of a mechanism, etc.) in order to diminish friction; oil or grease (something).
to make slippery or smooth; apply a lubricant to:
to lubricate one's hands with a lotion.
to smooth over, as a difficulty or human relationship; ease:
to lubricate the friction between enemies.
Slang. to provide with intoxicating drinks.
Slang. to bribe.
verb (used without object), lubricated, lubricating.
to act as a lubricant.
to apply a lubricant to something.
Slang. to drink or become drunk.
Origin of lubricate
1615-25; < Latin lūbricātus, past participle of lūbricāre to make slippery. See lubric, -ate1
Related forms
lubrication, noun
lubricational, adjective
lubricative, adjective
[loo-bri-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈlu brɪ kəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
nonlubricating, adjective
overlubricate, verb (used with object), overlubricated, overlubricating.
overlubrication, noun
relubricate, verb (used with object), relubricated, relubricating.
relubrication, noun
self-lubricated, adjective
self-lubricating, adjective
self-lubrication, noun
unlubricated, adjective
unlubricating, adjective
unlubricative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lubricate
  • So, large community meals might have served to lubricate social connections and alleviate tensions.
  • Rainfall or water infiltration can lubricate old fractures and reactivate long-dormant faults.
  • These muscles compress the sac, and express the secretion it contains upon the vocal folds to lubricate their surfaces.
  • Here, no doubt, is the rub-and it is a rub which it seems to the present writer impossible to remove or lubricate.
  • Blinking helps lubricate the surface of the eye with tears, washing away dust and other irritants.
  • Sure, getting a bit tipsy obviously helps lubricate conversations between nervous strangers.
  • With no pistons going up and down, there's less to lubricate.
  • Successful currencies are used to transact day-to-day business and lubricate commerce.
  • Other service people say there is no need to lubricate the joints because they are lubricated for life.
  • And by adding a few natural ingredients, you can use it to lubricate the engine of your car or lawn mower.
British Dictionary definitions for lubricate


(transitive) to cover or treat with an oily or greasy substance so as to lessen friction
(transitive) to make greasy, slippery, or smooth
(intransitive) to act as a lubricant
Derived Forms
lubrication, noun
lubricational, adjective
lubricative, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin lūbricāre, from lūbricus slippery
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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Word Origin and History for lubricate

1620s, "to make slippery or smooth" (especially by the application of an oil), from Latin lubricatus, past participle of lubricare "to make slippery or smooth," from lubricus "slippery" (see lubricant (adj.)). Related: Lubricated; lubricating. Earlier verb was lubrify (1610s), from Medieval Latin lubrificare.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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