Share this entry

Share this page

lubricate

Line breaks: lu¦bri|cate
Pronunciation: /ˈluːbrɪkeɪt
 
/

Definition of lubricate in English:

verb

[with object]
1Apply a substance such as oil or grease to (an engine or component) so as 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.
Synonyms
oil, grease, make slippery, make smooth, smear with oil, cover with oil, rub with oil, moisturize, wax, polish
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.
Synonyms
facilitate, ease, ready, make smooth, smooth the way for, oil the wheels for, pave the way for
1.2 informal Make (someone) convivial 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.

Origin

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

Derivatives

lubrication

1
Pronunciation: /-ˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/
noun
Example sentences
  • The pumping of pistons in a car engine firing up and down thousands of times per minute relies on heavy-duty lubrication: motor oil.
  • But it was a machine that required constant financial lubrication.
  • Weapons maintenance and lubrication are often a function of weapons training.

lubricator

2
noun
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.

Definition of lubricate in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day peart
Pronunciation: pɪət
adjective
lively; cheerful