Definition of lubricate in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈlo͞obrəˌkāt/


[with object]
1Apply a substance such as oil or grease to (an engine or component) to minimize friction and allow smooth movement: remove the nut and lubricate the thread (as adjective lubricating) lubricating oils
More example sentences
  • The Defenders will also be running on a mix of more combustible aviation fuel and oil to help lubricate the engine.
  • Oil powers their machinery and lubricates their engines.
  • The unit uses soy-bean-based biodegradable oil and compressed air to lubricate metal components that are being machined or drilled.
1.1Make (a process) run smoothly: the availability of credit lubricated the channels of trade
More example sentences
  • The therapeutic alliance of the integrated model facilitates and lubricates these crucial processes.
  • At first glance it would appear that the dishonesty which lubricated the peace process has now clogged it up.
  • And for the first time Middle Eastern oil was now lubricating the wheels of international diplomacy.
1.2 informal Make (someone) convivial, especially with alcohol: men lubricated with alcohol speak their true feelings
More example sentences
  • I was merely lubricated and relaxed, not drunk by any means.
  • The night continues, lubricated by alcohol, until it starts getting late and people start to leave.
  • He is taken to a magnificent banquet, lubricated by the choicest alcohol, three glasses at a time.



Pronunciation: /ˈlo͞obrəˌkādər/
Example sentences
  • Two feeds from the mechanical lubricator to each guide amply meet lubrication requirements.
  • Greed is the great lubricator of many businesses.
  • Beer is also the great lubricator for conversation.


Early 17th century: from Latin lubricat- 'made slippery', from the verb lubricare, from lubricus 'slippery'.

Words that rhyme with lubricate


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lu·bri·cate

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.