Definition of train oil in English:

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train oil


[mass noun] chiefly historical
Oil obtained from the blubber of a whale (and formerly of other sea creatures), especially the right whale.
Example sentences
  • I shudder when I think of the portions we received: seven or eight enormous black steaks, swimming in fried train oil, and garnished with bits of blubber.
  • However, at this time there were already many established firms that produced train oil and thus held a certain monopoly.
  • That's difficult for me to understand, however enlightened I may be with sun, moon, stearine, train oil, and tallow.


Mid 16th century: from obsolete train 'train oil', from Middle Low German trän, Middle Dutch traen, literally 'tear' (because it was extracted in droplets).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: train oil

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