Definition of ointment in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɔɪntm(ə)nt/


[mass noun]
A smooth oily substance that is rubbed on the skin for medicinal purposes or as a cosmetic: he rubbed some ointment on his leg [count noun]: scented ointments for the skin
More example sentences
  • Apply a moisturizer cream or ointment if the perineal skin is chapped or dry after cleansing.
  • Do not apply cream or ointment to broken skin and always follow the instructions on the packet.
  • If emollients alone don't treat the condition, the next step is to use a steroid cream or ointment.
pomade, pomatum;
calamine lotion, zinc ointment;
Medicine  demulcent, humectant
trademark Vaseline, Tiger balm
historical spikenard
archaic unction


Middle English: alteration of Old French oignement, from a popular Latin form of Latin unguentum (see unguent); influenced by obsolete oint 'anoint' (from Old French, past participle of oindre 'anoint').

  • unction from Late Middle English:

    This is from Latin unctio, from unguere ‘anoint’, also the source of unguent (Late Middle English), and via French of anoint (Middle English) and ointment (Middle English). The phrase extreme unction in the Roman Catholic Church refers to a final anointing of a sick person in danger of death. Unctuous had the early sense ‘greasy; like an ointment’, which rapidly developed into ‘rich’. The sense ‘having spiritual unction’ developed in the mid 18th century, but rapidly developed the sense that this was hypocritical.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: oint|ment

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