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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 lubrication
  • Geothermal power can also come from hot water pumped out of the rocks, but this removes the faults' lubrication.
  • Lifetime silicone lubrication protects against head wear.
  • Also the blamed water would seem to provide a slight lubrication and lessen whatever friction was between these surfaces.
  • Since reform tends to require lubrication, opening up the public services at a time of austerity was always likely to be tough.
  • In particular is has unparallelled lubrication properties.
  • The system needs a huge volume of dollars for lubrication.
  • Gravity driven, triggered by increasing lubrication that overwhelms angle-of-repose stability.
  • Because the torn cartilage has to be removed, the joints are without their full quota of cushioning and lubrication.
  • The turbine needs no lubrication, reducing its maintenance costs.
  • One is thick-film lubrication and the other is thin-film lubrication.
British Dictionary definitions for lubrication


(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 lubrication

1640s, "act of lubricating," noun of action from lubricate (v.). Earlier were lubifraction (1540s).



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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