Share this entry

Share this page

oily

Syllabification: oil·y
Pronunciation: /ˈoilē
 
/

Definition of oily in English:

adjective (oilier, oiliest)

1Containing oil: oily fish such as mackerel and sardines
More example sentences
  • If only we would eschew processed foods for our healthy natural ingredients, remembering our traditional diet of nutritious oily fish, game, berries, oats and kale.
  • Omega - 3 fatty acids, such as those in oily fish and flaxseed oil, can relieve dry eyes by easing inflammation and stimulating tear production.
  • The mackerel was fresh, delicate and delicious; the slightly oily nature of the fish being beautifully cut away by the tomato and coriander flavours.
Synonyms
greasy, fatty, buttery, swimming in oil/fat
1.1Covered or soaked with oil: an oily rag
More example sentences
  • These are not only attractive, but extremely functional in providing a secure grip even if your hand is wet or oily.
  • An oily rag, which spontaneously combusted, ignited the complex and burned most of the storage units, including his next door.
  • He wiped his hands on an oily rag, and ran his eye over it one last time.
Synonyms
greasy, oleaginous, unctuous
technical sebaceous
formal pinguid
1.2Resembling oil in appearance or behavior: the oily swell of the river
More example sentences
  • They all seemed perplexingly afflicted with the same strange disease as Henrietta, an illness that gave them an oily and grayish appearance almost like a fish.
  • Kitting up in a boat rolling sickeningly in the oily swells proves as emotional here as anywhere else in the world, but soon, feeling slightly green around the gills, we are ready to dive.
  • It was a calm day in the middle of September, with a heavy fog over the sound, so that the run down from Chatham was cold and dreary, the swells looking oily in the gray light.
2(Of a person or their behavior) unpleasantly smooth and ingratiating: his oily smile
More example sentences
  • I follow the man into the room giving a small smile to the oily man on my way out.
  • I always thought he was an oily politician and I'm glad he's gone.
  • The oily minister could be in politically jeopardy.
Synonyms

Derivatives

oiliness

1
noun
Example sentences
  • This step stimulates the circulation, reduces oiliness, helps to refine the pores and skin texture, and removes the last traces of grease, dead cells and grime.
  • Typical acne was present in addition to the excoriations in 33 percent while only increased oiliness and no clear-cut acne lesions were present in 67 percent.
  • Oily hair is often a good candidate for chemical processing since the formulas may actually eliminate some of the excess oiliness.

Words that rhyme with oily

coyly, doily

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 ads and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkəmbərsəm
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…