Last modified on 17 November 2014, at 20:25
See also: oïl and òil


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Alternative formsEdit

  • oyl (obsolete)


Middle English oile (olive oil), from Anglo-Norman olie, from Latin oleum (oil, olive oil), from Ancient Greek ἔλαιον (élaion, olive oil), from ἐλαία (elaía, olive). More at olive. Supplanted Old English æle, also from Latin.



oil (countable and uncountable, plural oils)

  1. Liquid fat.
  2. Petroleum-based liquid used as fuel or lubricant.
    • 2013 August 3, “Yesterday’s fuel”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8847: 
      The dawn of the oil age was fairly recent. Although the stuff was used to waterproof boats in the Middle East 6,000 years ago, extracting it in earnest began only in 1859 after an oil strike in Pennsylvania. The first barrels of crude fetched $18 (around $450 at today’s prices). It was used to make kerosene, the main fuel for artificial lighting after overfishing led to a shortage of whale blubber.
  3. An oil painting.
    • 1973, John Ulric Nef, Search for meaning: the autobiography of a nonconformist (page 89)
      Yet, in another way, I was unable to put Picasso's oils in the same class as Cezanne's, or even (which will no doubt shock many readers) as Renoir's.

Derived termsEdit


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oil (third-person singular simple present oils, present participle oiling, simple past and past participle oiled)

  1. (transitive) To lubricate with oil.
    • 1900, L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Chapter 23:
      Before they went to see Glinda, however, they were taken to a room of the Castle, where Dorothy washed her face and combed her hair, and the Lion shook the dust out of his mane, and the Scarecrow patted himself into his best shape, and the Woodman polished his tin and oiled his joints.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 17, The China Governess[1]:
      The face which emerged was not reassuring.  [] . He was not a mongol but there was a deficiency of a sort there, and it was not made more pretty by a latter-day hair cut which involved eccentrically long elf-locks and oiled black curls.
  2. (transitive) To grease with oil for cooking.

Derived termsEdit




Etymology 1Edit

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page as described here.


oil f (genitive oile)

  1. (literary) disgrace, reproach; act of reproaching
  2. (literary) blemish, defect

Etymology 2Edit

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page as described here.


oil (present analytic oileann, future analytic oilfidh, verbal noun oiliúint, past participle oilte)

  1. to nourish, rear, foster
  2. to train, educate


Irish mutation
Radical Eclipsis with h-prothesis with t-prothesis
oil n-oil hoil t-oil
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Old FrenchEdit


oil m (oblique plural ouz or oilz, nominative singular ouz or oilz, nominative plural oil)

  1. Alternative form of ueil




  1. water
  2. sap


  • Blust's Austronesian Comparative Dictionary