noun Pharmacology.
a soft, unctuous preparation, often medicated, for application to the skin; unguent.

1250–1300; obsolete oint (aphetic variant of anoint) + -ment; replacing Middle English oignement < Old French < Vulgar Latin *unguimentum for Latin unguentum; see unguent

salve, balm; nard.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ointment (ˈɔɪntmənt)
1.  a fatty or oily medicated formulation applied to the skin to heal or protect
2.  a similar substance used as a cosmetic
[C14: from Old French oignement, from Latin unguentumunguent]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 13c., from O.Fr. oignement, from V.L. *unguimentum, from L. unguentum (see unguent). The first -t- emerged in O.Fr. from oint, p.p. of verb oindre "to anoint."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

ointment oint·ment (oint'mənt)
A highly viscous or semisolid preparation usually containing medicinal substances and intended for external application.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Bible Dictionary

Ointment definition

Various fragrant preparations, also compounds for medical purposes, are so called (Ex. 30:25; Ps. 133:2; Isa. 1:6; Amos 6:6; John 12:3; Rev. 18:13).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see fly in the ointment.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
The sole fly in this otherwise insect-free ointment are the pistes themselves.
The fly in the ointment comes from the often overlooked but crucial aspect of
  finite total real resources.
The kicker, the real fly in the ointment in all this, is global climate change.
Unfortunately, there is a little fly in the ointment.
Idioms & Phrases
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