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