mineral oil

noun
a colorless, oily, almost tasteless, water-insoluble liquid, usually of either a standard light density (light mineral oil) or a standard heavy density (heavy mineral oil) consisting of mixtures of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum by distillation: used chiefly as a lubricant, in the manufacture of cosmetics, and in medicine as a laxative.
Also called liquid petrolatum.


Origin:
1795–1805

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
mineral oil
 
n
1.  (Brit) any oil of mineral origin, esp petroleum
2.  (US), (Canadian) Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): liquid paraffin a colourless almost tasteless oily liquid obtained by petroleum distillation and used as a laxative

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

mineral oil n.

  1. Any of various light hydrocarbon oils, especially a distillate of petroleum.

  2. A refined distillate of petroleum, used as a laxative.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
mineral oil  
A colorless, odorless, tasteless oil distilled from petroleum. It is used as a lubricant and, in medicine, as a laxative.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

mineral oil

a clear, colourless, oily liquid that is a by-product of the distillation of petroleum. Mineral oil is used in medicine as a laxative and as an emollient. Given orally, it coats the bowel and softens the stool mass, thus easing the latter's passage. Mineral oil is completely indigestible and is not absorbed by the intestine. Its prolonged use may cause vitamin deficiencies, however, because it carries fat-soluble vitamins out of the digestive system and thus prevents their absorption. The possibility of the accidental inhalation of mineral oil into the lungs, where it causes lipid pneumonia, further limits its usefulness as a laxative. Mineral oil applied to the skin makes the latter softer and more pliable by retaining moisture within the epidermis. Mineral oil also has a variety of minor industrial uses, including use in hair sprays and as a solvent, lubricator, and insulator.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
It is able to do this because it is filled with a mineral oil that slowly
  diffuses through the silicone.
Mineral oil is a liquid oil produced from petroleum.
Mineral oil can cause aspiration pneumonia, a condition where vomited stomach
  contents are inhaled.
Often a warm mineral oil enema is used to soften and lubricate the stool.
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