Definition of oily in English:


adjectiveoilier, oiliest

  • 1Containing oil.

    ‘taramasalata and hummus are both oily and rich’
    • ‘Some savoury recipes also use rhubarb, as its tanginess makes it an ideal accompaniment for fatty meats or oily fish.’
    • ‘The sebaceous glands make an oily substance called sebum that normally empties onto the skin surface through the opening of the follicle, commonly called a pore.’
    • ‘Wood coated with varnish will not dry out and split, will not absorb moisture and rot, is unaffected by dirt and pollution, and will be unstained, by oily or greasy spills.’
    • ‘Tuna is an oily dark fish that is full of iron and iodine as well as essential oils, which help keep your hair, skin and nails in great condition.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Fifteen ducklings and their mother were brought to the Wolstenholme Fold hospital plastered in the oily fuel.’
    • ‘Common sources of vitamin D in foods include fortified cereals, margarine and oily fish.’
    • ‘The team is setting a crayfish trap containing oily fish as bait to see what they catch.’
    • ‘It consists of introducing medicated oily substances into the colon to be retained and absorbed by the whole body.’
    • ‘One of the most mouth-watering of their creations is the oily chili sauce that covers the joint's bite-sized dumplings.’
    • ‘There is also evidence that oily fish and cod liver oil can help.’
    • ‘The oily sebaceous glands in the skin easily get clogged up, and bacteria sets up an inflammation that triggers the immune system to launch a local attack.’
    • ‘At least 25% of Kuwait's desert was covered in oil or heavy deposits of acidic, oily soot.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Though the cracks were tiny, it was enough to allow an oily liquid seep through at several points, covering the floor.’
    • ‘Many wetlands in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area that were home to spring flowers and migratory water fowl are reportedly now covered by a thick layer of oily scum.’
    • ‘His rags were burnt - sending up a thick and oily smoke to the heavens - and he was dressed in a loincloth and openweave sandals.’
    • ‘At standard temperature and pressure it is a colorless, oily liquid with an unpleasant odor that turns brown due to slow oxidation by air.’
    • ‘If oily film or grease covers the duct, wipe clean with a damp cloth.’
    greasy, fatty, buttery, swimming in fat, swimming in oil, oleaginous
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    1. 1.1 Covered or soaked with oil.
      ‘an oily rag’
      • ‘He wiped his hands on an oily rag, and ran his eye over it one last time.’
      • ‘His very appearance was a doorway into his soul; oily skin, greasy hair, and even his silks were in tatters.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Oil the wooden handles if necessary and wipe the blades and tines with an oily rag.’
      • ‘JOY MELZER from Kansas City, Mo., is looking for a natural treatment for oily hair.’
      • ‘Even his old oily rags were kept just in case he could find a use for them again.’
      • ‘Orange cleaner concentrate (D-Limonene) is used industrially to clean greasy and oily concrete floors.’
      • ‘In summer, many people suffer from oily skin, because heat tends to stimulate your sebaceous glands, which produce more oil.’
      • ‘Seborrhea occurs more frequently in persons with oily skin.’
      • ‘He looked like he hasn't eaten or slept for weeks - and I don't think he hadn't taken a nice bath lately either - by his appearance and his oily hair.’
      • ‘His clean hands held a balled rag like a Kleenex for touching anything oily.’
      • ‘He proceeded to give us encouragement and advice as we struggled to fashion a belt out of an oily rag.’
      • ‘Adrian looked the part though, greasy boiler suit, oily hands and a dirty face.’
      • ‘His body was covered in wounds, his long hair was clumped and oily, and he was dressed in rags.’
      • ‘Lifting up a box of screwed up newspaper and oily painting rags, a letter floated out to the ground.’
      • ‘Alcohol - based gels and solutions dry the skin and are better for people with excessively oily skin.’
      • ‘Hazardous materials such as batteries, empty paint tins, oily rags etc must be delivered separately and similarly labelled.’
      • ‘Stick to powder blushes as well; cream formulas tend to make oily skin look even greasier.’
      • ‘He opened his eye again, and was not surprised to find what looked like a pile of dirty rags and an oily blanket.’
      greasy, oleaginous
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    2. 1.2 Resembling oil in appearance or behaviour.
      ‘the oily swell of the river’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The free-swimming fish seem to congregate annoyingly at the thermocline, where the oily effect of mixing water makes them appear constantly out of focus.’
      • ‘But it also meant that the surface of the water was perfectly smooth, almost oily in appearance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ten minutes later, I'm spat out by the bus on to the town's cobbled High Street, the rain still lashing down, covering the streets and pavements with an oily sheen.’
      • ‘Its sleek black body was covered with rock hard scales, which gave an oily glow when the sun reflected from them.’
      • ‘In this city, lingering fear takes the form of a roiling, oily fog that covers victim, attacker, and crime.’
      • ‘I got up at 5: 30 am, and my stroll to the clifftop revealed a brand spanking new swell, with blue sunny skies, and an oily smooth ocean.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘The only unpleasantness was a slightly oily feeling on your body when you got out of the water,’ he said.’
      • ‘Next morning the sea is oily smooth, broken only by the wake of passing ships.’
  • 2(of a person or their behaviour) unpleasantly smooth and ingratiating.

    ‘his oily smile’
    • ‘The oily man knew he would get his way, and his smile grew, displaying yellowed teeth.’
    • ‘I always thought he was an oily politician and I'm glad he's gone.’
    • ‘But since then he has received rave reviews for his portrayal of the oily lawyer.’
    • ‘The oily Minister requested her new Registrar General to activate a company that was de-registered.’
    • ‘‘Mr. Grayson,’ the oily man replied in that way that declares, ‘you are wasting my time.’’
    • ‘He was oily in character, very slick and unclean.’
    • ‘I ignored Markus and his oily ways and managed a slight smile for Emaleth.’
    • ‘They enlist the them in a scheme to trap the oily lawyer by going through with the sale.’
    • ‘The man smiled a slick, oily smile that reminded her of the deadly cobra.’
    • ‘I follow the man into the room giving a small smile to the oily man on my way out.’
    • ‘I'm not sure I understand his function, or his point of view - sometimes he's oily, other times a pit bull - or whom exactly he speaks for.’
    • ‘The oily minister could be in politically jeopardy.’
    • ‘‘Alyssa,’ the man said in his smooth, oily voice that sent shivers down her spine.’
    • ‘His voice was smooth and oily, just like the rest of his appearance.’
    • ‘An oily guy in his forties comes up to me and asks, ‘How do you like your diamonds cut - round or square?’’
    • ‘He is oily and evil and pleased that others are dying around him.’
    • ‘Picking up the cup of milk with bound hands I kicked the food back at the stringy, oily servant, growling and muttering a warning.’
    • ‘He smiled an oily smile and I saw two golden teeth.’
    • ‘You know the oily rascal's up to something - but what?’
    • ‘He is an unpleasant oily man, holding a whip in one hand, and a short sword in the other.’
    unctuous, fawning, ingratiating, smooth, smooth-talking, fulsome, flattering, glib, obsequious, sycophantic, soapy, oleaginous, servile, subservient
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