Definition of castor oil in US English:

castor oil


  • A pale yellow oil obtained from castor beans, used as a purgative, a lubricant, and in manufacturing oil-based products.

    • ‘People of a certain age remember castor beans as the source of the vile-tasting castor oil, a much-dreaded laxative home remedy.’
    • ‘Modified castor oil is now used in the production of urethane plastics, inks, rubber and other synthetic products.’
    • ‘Also, if you will be receiving this medicine by injection, tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as castor oil.’
    • ‘Agri and allied products showing a substantial increase in exports were rice, pulses, tobacco, spices, nuts and seeds, cashew, guar, gum meal, castor oil and processed food items, an official release said.’
    • ‘It is very harmful and hazardous to health when mixed with crude castor oil, industrial palmolein-oil, mineral oils etc.’
    • ‘Mild oily purgatives like castor oil or bulk laxatives such as linseed or psyllium seeds are recommended.’
    • ‘‘They forced him to drink castor oil,’ Negri explains.’
    • ‘Some readers are enthusiastic about castor oil, while both arnica and comfrey have a long folk tradition of use for bruises.’
    • ‘As you know, castor oil was once used as a laxative.’
    • ‘One million tons of castor beans are processed to produce castor oil every year and the waste from this process is approximately five per cent ricin.’
    • ‘Civil War surgeons began treatment with mild purgatives, such as castor oil, extract of senna, or small doses of calomel.’
    • ‘Ricin, one of the deadliest naturally occurring poisons, is derived from castor plant beans, which are grown worldwide to produce castor oil.’
    • ‘Clearly, castor oil was only a temporary measure.’
    • ‘On a negative note, the smell of castor oil, sulphur or cascara spooned down our throats was enough to turn the stomach of the most stalwart.’
    • ‘Today, although castor oil is produced more than ever, its medicinal use as a laxative is almost nonexistent.’
    • ‘The products include cashew, castor oil, palm, potato, soybean, green bean, peanut, maize, sweet corn and eucalyptus.’
    • ‘One person recalls another form of Saturday cleansing - a dose of castor oil or medicine made from senna leaves, or liquorice powder.’
    • ‘Review of the literature indicates that one poorly designed study involving 100 participants studied castor oil versus no treatment.’
    • ‘The stimulant laxative castor oil, for example, can cause early labor.’


Mid 18th century: perhaps so named because it succeeded castor in medicinal use.


castor oil

/ˈkastər ˌoil//ˈkæstər ˌɔɪl/