Definition of liniment in US English:



  • A liquid or lotion, especially one made with oil, for rubbing on the body to relieve pain.

    • ‘One popular therapy at this time (which continues today in China) was the combination of anmo with herbal ointments, liniments and salves derived from the Chinese materia medica.’
    • ‘Application of liniments, analgesics, plant hydrosols, and essential oil blends immediately after the cupping will enable the absorption of the product deep into the tissue.’
    • ‘Old codgers rub sore joints and look for liniment.’
    • ‘If you experience such a symptom, there is no point in ignoring it or rubbing liniment in the belief that it is a muscle pain.’
    • ‘Then be sure to stock some simple over-the-counter remedies, such as aspirin, liniments, diarrhea medications, cold medications, and vitamins - again, in their packaging.’
    • ‘In the past, I stared with amazement and almost revered the brown, smelly liniment as I rubbed it into my bruises.’
    • ‘They are business professionals looking to take breaks from their regular routine and shuffle into a hard-knock world of dank locker rooms, sweaty ring towels, liniment, spit buckets and crusty old trainers.’
    • ‘‘In that case maybe I'll be distributing the horse liniment soon,’ returned Armand.’
    • ‘Alone again, he resumes rubbing liniment on his back.’
    • ‘His mother's liniment was prime stuff, and allowed him to move the limb often enough to keep the kinks worked out.’
    • ‘Oil of wintergreen, also known as methyl salicylate, is a time-honored rub or liniment used for sprains, strains, aches, pains and arthritis.’
    • ‘Herbal medicine is used for circulatory diseases in two ways: internally, through teas, tinctures or capsules, and externally, through poultices, lotions and herbal liniments.’
    • ‘The afternoon quickly dissolved, and after putting on blankets, applying liniment and leg wraps, helping bed stalls, and cleaning up the barn, it was dark.’
    • ‘Massage was developed in connection with incantation, rubbing the spirit out of the body, and was preceded by efforts to rub medicine in, in a similar fashion to rubbing liniments in.’
    • ‘External herbal poultices, compresses, liniments, and salves are also used to enhance the other therapeutic methods.’
    • ‘He may now be saying he wants to spend more time with his young son, but come next season the sniff of liniment might become something he can't refuse.’
    • ‘Other household items carried by the stores on wheels included washing powder, liniments, salve, and lye used for making soap.’
    • ‘As Labour MPs rub liniment on their bruises after last week's anti-terror vote, here's a reminder that modern whips are mere pussycats.’
    • ‘For a warming, soothing liniment that helps loosen muscles and gets them ready to go for sport, mix eucalyptus or rosemary oil with almond oil, ensuring that it remains strongly scented, and massage into muscles until you feel a warm glow.’
    • ‘Oil of Wintergreen, which you find in liniments, is Methyl salicylate.’


Late Middle English: from late Latin linimentum, from Latin linire ‘to smear’.