Definition for OIL

OIL, n. [Sax. æl. It seems to be named from its inflammability, for ælan, is to kindle, and to oil; hence anælan, to anneal; æled, fire; Dan. ild, whence the name of Hildebrand, D. Ildebrand, fire-brand; D. oly; G. oel; Sw. olja; Dan. olie; Fr. huile; It. olio; L. oleum; Gr. ελαιον; W. olew; Ir. ola; Arm. Sp. and Port. oleo.]

An unctuous substance expressed or drawn from several animal and vegetable substances. The distinctive characters of oil are inflammability, fluidity and insolubility in water. Oils are fixed and greasy, fixed and essential, volatile and essential. They have a smooth feel, and most of them have little taste or smell. Animal oil is found in all animal substances. Vegetable oils are produced by expression, infusion or distillation. Encyc. Nicholson.

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