Definition of oil noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  1. 1  [uncountable] a thick liquid that is found in rock underground synonym petroleum drilling for oil Wordfinderenergy, fossil fuel, fracking, fuel, hydroelectric, nuclear, oil, power station, solar, wind farm See related entries: The power industry
  2. 2  [uncountable] a form of petroleum that is used as fuel and to make parts of machines move smoothly engine oil an oil lamp/heater Put some oil in the car. See related entries: Parts of a car
  3. 3  [uncountable, countable] a smooth thick liquid that is made from plants or animals and is used in cooking olive oil vegetable oils
  4. 4[uncountable, countable] a smooth thick liquid that is made from plants, minerals, etc. and is used on the skin or hair lavender bath oil suntan oil see also essential oil See related entries: Hair products and accessories
  5. 5[uncountable] (also oils [plural]) coloured paint containing oil used by artists a painting done in oils landscapes in oil CollocationsFine artsCreating art make a work of art/​a drawing/​a sketch/​a sculpture/​a statue/​engravings/​etchings/​prints do an oil painting/​a self-portrait/​a line drawing/​a rough sketch create a work of art/​an artwork/​paintings and sculptures produce paintings/​portraits/​oil sketches/​his most celebrated work/​a series of prints paint a picture/​landscape/​portrait/​mural/​in oils/​in watercolours/(especially US English) in watercolors/​on canvas draw a picture/​a portrait/​a cartoon/​a sketch/​a line/​a figure/​the human form/​in charcoal/​in ink sketch a preliminary drawing/​a figure/​a shape carve a figure/​an image/​a sculpture/​an altarpiece/​reliefs/​a block of wood sculpt a portrait bust/​a statue/​an abstract figure etch a line/​a pattern/​a design/​a name into the glass mix colours/(especially US English) colors/​pigments/​paints add/​apply thin/​thick layers of paint/​colour/(especially US English) color/​pigment use oil pastels/​charcoal/​acrylic paint/​a can of spray paint work in bronze/​ceramics/​stone/​oils/​pastels/​watercolour/​a wide variety of mediaDescribing art paint/​depict a female figure/​a biblical scene/​a pastoral landscape/​a domestic interior depict/​illustrate a traditional/​mythological/​historical/​religious theme create an abstract composition/​a richly textured surface/​a distorted perspective paint dark/​rich/​skin/​flesh tones use broad brush strokes/​loose brushwork/​vibrant colours/​a limited palette/​simple geometric forms develop/​adopt/​paint in a stylized manner/​an abstract styleShowing and selling art commission an altarpiece/​a bronze bust of somebody/​a portrait/​a religious work/​an artist to paint something frame a painting/​portrait hang art/​a picture/​a painting display/​exhibit modern art/​somebody’s work/​a collection/​original artwork/​drawings/​sculptures/​a piece be displayed/​hung in a gallery/​museum install/​place a sculpture in/​at/​on something erect/​unveil a bronze/​marble/​life-size statue hold/​host/​mount/​open/​curate/​see an exhibition (especially British English)/(usually North American English) an exhibit be/​go on (British English) exhibition/(North American English) exhibit feature/​promote/​showcase a conceptual artist/​contemporary works collect African art/​modern British paintings/​Japanese prints restore/​preserve a fresco/​great works of art see also oil paint See related entries: Art equipment
  6. 6[countable] = oil painting Among the more important Turner oils was ‘Venus and Adonis’.
  7. see also oily, castor oil, cod liver oil, linseed oil
    Word OriginMiddle English: from Old Northern French olie, Old French oile, from Latin oleum ‘(olive) oil’; compare with olea ‘olive’.Extra examples ‘Four Women on a Bench’, oil on canvas, 1991 A daily dose of omega-3 fish oil will help children to concentrate better. Fry the potato in a little sunflower oil. She rubbed a scented oil into her hair. The company is drilling for oil in the North Sea. The place smelled of oil. The sick were anointed with oil. Toast the bread, rub with garlic and drizzle over a little olive oil. Use a rag soaked in linseed oil. a bottle of extra virgin olive oil a rod coated with a film of oil a seven-mile-long oil slick off the Alaskan coast essential oils extracted from flowers oil of rosemary Acid rain from the burning oil wells could cause severe environmental damage. At the time, oil was trading at around $18 per barrel. Drizzle the salad with olive oil and top it with flakes of fresh Parmesan. Heat a little olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Several companies are drilling for oil in the region. The well produced oil at a rate of 2 000 barrels of oil a day. Vegetable oils are better for you than animal fats.Idioms to study or work until late at night
    pour oil on troubled water(s)
    jump to other results
    to try to settle a disagreement or argument
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: oil