any of a large class of substances typically unctuous, viscous, combustible, liquid at ordinary temperatures, and soluble in ether or alcohol but not in water: used for anointing, perfuming, lubricating, illuminating, heating, etc.
a substance of this or similar consistency.
refined or crude petroleum.
Informal. unctuous hypocrisy; flattery.
an oilskin garment.
Australian and New Zealand Slang. facts or news; information: good oil.
verb (used with object)
to smear, lubricate, or supply with oil.
to bribe.
to make unctuous or smooth: to oil his words.
to convert into oil by melting, as butter.
pertaining to or resembling oil.
using oil, especially as a fuel: an oil furnace.
concerned with the production or use of oil: an offshore oil rig.
made with oil.
obtained from oil.
pour oil on troubled waters, to attempt to calm a difficult or tense situation, as an argument.
strike oil,
to discover oil, especially to bring in a well.
to have good luck, especially financially; make an important and valuable discovery: They struck oil only after years of market research.

1125–75; Middle English olie, oile < Old French < Latin oleum, olīvum (olive) oil < *oleivum (cf. Deus) < dialectal Greek *élaiwon (Attic élaion), derivative of *elaíwā olive

oilless, adjective
oillessness, noun
oillike, adjective
reoil, verb
self-oiling, adjective
unoiling, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
oil (ɔɪl)
1.  essential oil See also fixed oil any of a number of viscous liquids with a smooth sticky feel. They are usually flammable, insoluble in water, soluble in organic solvents, and are obtained from plants and animals, from mineral deposits, and by synthesis. They are used as lubricants, fuels, perfumes, foodstuffs, and raw materials for chemicals
2.  a.  another name for petroleum
 b.  (as modifier): an oil engine; an oil rig
3.  a.  Also called: lubricating oil any of a number of substances usually derived from petroleum and used for lubrication
 b.  (in combination): an oilcan; an oilstone
 c.  (as modifier): an oil pump
4.  Also called: fuel oil a petroleum product used as a fuel in domestic heating, industrial furnaces, marine engines, etc
5.  (Brit)
 a.  paraffin, esp when used as a domestic fuel
 b.  (as modifier): an oil lamp; an oil stove
6.  any substance of a consistency resembling that of oil: oil of vitriol
7.  the solvent, usually linseed oil, with which pigments are mixed to make artists' paints
8.  a.  (often plural) oil colour or paint
 b.  (as modifier): an oil painting
9.  an oil painting
10.  slang (Austral), (NZ) the good oil, the dinkum oil facts or news
11.  strike oil
 a.  to discover petroleum while drilling for it
 b.  informal to become very rich or successful
12.  to lubricate, smear, polish, etc, with oil or an oily substance
13.  informal to bribe (esp in the phrase oil someone's palm)
14.  oil the wheels to make things run smoothly
15.  See well-oiled
[C12: from Old French oile, from Latin oleum (olive) oil, from olea olive tree, from Greek elaiaolive]

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

c.1175, "olive oil," from Anglo-Fr. and O.N.Fr. olie, from O.Fr. oile (12c., Mod.Fr. huile), from L. oleum "oil, olive oil" (cf. Sp., It. olio), from Gk. elaion "olive tree," from elaia (see olive). O.E. æle, Du. olie, Ger. Öl, etc. all are from Latin. It meant
"olive oil" exclusively till c.1300, when meaning began to be extended to any fatty, greasy substance. Use for "petroleum" first recorded 1526, but not common until 19c. The verb is c.1440, replacing O.E. besmyrian. The artist's oils (1663), short for oil-colour (1539), are paints made by grinding pigment in oil.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

oil (oil)
Any of numerous mineral, vegetable, and synthetic substances and animal and vegetable fats that are generally slippery, combustible, viscous, liquid or liquefiable at room temperatures, soluble in various organic solvents such as ether but not in water, and used in a great variety of products, especially lubricants and fuels.

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
oil  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (oil)  Pronunciation Key 
Any of a large class of viscous liquids that are typically very slippery and greasy. Oils are composed mostly of glycerides. They are flammable, do not mix with water, and include animal and vegetable fats as well as substances of mineral or synthetic origin. They are used in food, soap, and candles, and make good lubricants and fuels. See essential oil, mineral oil, petroleum.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Oil definition

Only olive oil seems to have been used among the Hebrews. It was used for many purposes: for anointing the body or the hair (Ex. 29:7; 2 Sam. 14:2; Ps. 23:5; 92:10; 104:15; Luke 7:46); in some of the offerings (Ex. 29:40; Lev. 7:12; Num. 6:15; 15:4), but was excluded from the sin-offering (Lev. 5:11) and the jealousy-offering (Num. 5:15); for burning in lamps (Ex. 25:6; 27:20; Matt. 25:3); for medicinal purposes (Isa. 1:6; Luke 10:34; James 5:14); and for anointing the dead (Matt. 26:12; Luke 23:56). It was one of the most valuable products of the country (Deut. 32:13; Ezek. 16:13), and formed an article of extensive commerce with Tyre (27:17). The use of it was a sign of gladness (Ps. 92:10; Isa. 61:3), and its omission a token of sorrow (2 Sam. 14:2; Matt. 6:17). It was very abundant in Galilee. (See OLIVE.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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