Definition of ointment in English:



  • [mass noun] A smooth oily substance that is rubbed on the skin for medicinal purposes or as a cosmetic.

    ‘he rubbed some ointment on his leg’
    [count noun] ‘scented ointments for the skin’
    • ‘The cost of skin barriers and ointments is a drop in the bucket compared with the costs and ramifications from such problems.’
    • ‘Do not apply cream or ointment to broken skin and always follow the instructions on the packet.’
    • ‘Doctors call these drugs vasodilators and they are available in a variety of forms, including tablets, sprays, skin patches and ointments.’
    • ‘Be sure to talk with your doctor if you are using a steroid cream or ointment to treat your itching.’
    • ‘If emollients alone don't treat the condition, the next step is to use a steroid cream or ointment.’
    • ‘When the source of moisture cannot be controlled, it is appropriate to use barrier creams or ointments to protect the skin.’
    • ‘The doctor might recommend creams, ointments, or lotions to ease symptoms.’
    • ‘Are ointments and creams smooth and nongritty?’
    • ‘Your GP will give you a course of oral antibiotics and/or an antibiotic cream or ointment.’
    • ‘Prescription creams, ointments and lotions (called topical medicines) that you put on the affected areas are often used.’
    • ‘Your will need to wash your face several times a day with a gentle cleanser, and apply antibiotic ointment or cream to aid healing.’
    • ‘He had been applying a topical antibiotic ointment to the wound three times a day.’
    • ‘Calcipotriol is available as a cream or ointment to treat plaque psoriasis and as a lotion for scalp psoriasis.’
    • ‘Some burns units treat difficult wounds such as facial burns by leaving them exposed and applying antimicrobial ointment.’
    • ‘She was prescribed sulphur ointment, which began to heal her infected skin.’
    • ‘Apply a moisturizer cream or ointment if the perineal skin is chapped or dry after cleansing.’
    • ‘In the past, treatment generally consisted of the use of topical corticosteroids in the form of creams, ointments, and lotions.’
    • ‘Always talk to your health care provider before using any medicated creams or ointments to treat skin problems.’
    • ‘Nowadays the condition is treatable with tetracycline eye ointment and tetracycline taken orally.’
    • ‘The ointment keeps a heavy scab from forming and may reduce the size of a scar.’
    lotion, cream, salve, liniment, embrocation, rub, gel, petroleum jelly, balm, emollient, unguent, balsam
    pomade, pomatum
    calamine lotion, zinc ointment
    demulcent, humectant
    vaseline, tiger balm
    View synonyms


Middle English: alteration of Old French oignement, from a popular Latin form of Latin unguentum (see unguent); influenced by obsolete oint ‘anoint’ (from Old French, past participle of oindre anoint).