Definition of petrolatum in US English:



North American
  • another term for petroleum jelly
    • ‘Designed as a moisturizing cleanser, Albolene contains mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin, ceresin and beta carotene.’
    • ‘The oil component of ointments is typically petrolatum; creams tend to contain lanolin.’
    • ‘Gauze dressings can be used dry, moist, or impregnated with petrolatum, antiseptics, or other agents.’
    • ‘Topical agents such as petrolatum provide an occlusive film over inflamed skin, decrease fissuring, and reduce evaporation.’
    • ‘These wounds heal by secondary intention and may be cleansed daily and then covered with petrolatum or antibiotic ointment.’


Late 19th century: modern Latin, from petrol + the Latin suffix -atum.