Definition of “oil” - English Dictionary

“oil” in British English

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oilnoun

uk /ɔɪl/ us /ɔɪl/

oil noun (FUEL)

B1 [ U ] petroleum (= the black oil obtained from under the earth's surface from which petrol comes):

drilling for oil
the oil industry

B1 [ U ] a thick liquid that comes from petroleum, used as a fuel and for making parts of machines move easily:

More examples

oil noun (FOR COOKING)

oil noun (PAINT)

oils [ plural ]

thick paints with an oil base, used for painting pictures:

Do you paint in oils or watercolours?

oilverb [ T ]

uk /ɔɪl/ us /ɔɪl/

(Definition of “oil” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“oil” in American English

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oilnoun

us /ɔɪl/

oil noun (FAT)

[ C/U ] thick, liquid fat obtained from plants which does not mix with water and is used esp. in cooking:

[ U ] I like oil and vinegar on my salad.
[ C ] These cookies are made with soybean and palm oils.

oil noun (FUEL)

[ U ] a thick, liquid substance that burns and is used as fuel or as a lubricant (= substance that helps connecting parts move easily), or the thick liquid taken from under the ground which oil, gasoline, and other products are made from:

motor oil
Change your car’s oil every 12,000 miles.

oil noun (LIQUID SUBSTANCE)

[ C ] any of a number of thick liquid substances that do not dissolve in water and are used in beauty products, paints, medicines, etc.

oilverb [ T ]

us /ɔɪl/

oil verb [ T ] (FUEL)

to add oil to something so it works better:

Oil the door hinges so they stop squeaking.

oil verb [ T ] (FAT)

to put oil on a pan or other surface that you cook on to keep things from sticking to it:

Lightly oil the grill.

(Definition of “oil” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“oil” in Business English

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oilnoun [ U ]

uk /ɔɪl/ us

NATURAL RESOURCES a thick liquid that comes from under the Earth's surface and is used as a fuel and for making plastics, etc.:

More than 6,000 rigs were drilling for oil and gas.
The oil price increase is a genuine concern.
The oil exporting countries might not be able to meet rising world consumption.

oilverb [ T ]

uk /ɔɪl/ us

to put oil on something, especially a machine, to make it work more easily without sticking:

You may need to oil the wheels and joints.
oil the wheels informal US grease the wheels

to make it easier for something to happen, especially in business or politics:

The new proposal will oil the wheels of deal-making by ensuring that the negotiations get off to a quicker start.

(Definition of “oil” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)