Definition of whale oil in US English:

whale oil


  • Oil obtained from the blubber of a whale, formerly used in oil lamps or for making soap.

    • ‘Unlike whale oil, copper wiring and even coal, oil is the foundation of everything we do: farming, fishing, manufacturing, transport, trade.’
    • ‘The old bones were put up back in the 18th century when whale oil was a prized commodity and Whitby's Captain William Scoresby and his son William Junior were among the best hunters.’
    • ‘The valuable products of whaling, including whale oil, whalebone, and spermaceti for candle-making, provided the bulk of NSW's exports during the 1830s.’
    • ‘The amount of oil one well could produce in a day exceeded the amount of whale oil collected from two to three years of whaling in the depleted oceans of the 1860s.i’
    • ‘In the mid-1930s, for the first time, Japanese fishermen ventured beyond their coastal waters and sent factory ships into the Antarctic, their whale oil destined primarily for the margarine and soap factories of Germany.’
    • ‘When demand for whale oil waned, the city became a mill town.’
    • ‘An oil room had a collection of various lubricants, including linseed oil, whale oil, lard, molasses, tallow, and grease.’
    • ‘We also learn that the jojoba, or Simmondsia chinensis, helped save the sperm whale, after it was discovered that oil from the plant had properties similar to whale oil and could be used to lubricate high-speed machinery.’
    • ‘Dundee's famous jute industry actually helped the declining whaling fleet to survive: whale oil was needed to soften the cloth, bad news for the whales but a lifeline for the men of the fleet.’
    • ‘A mechanism used to shed light usually fueled by kerosene, or perhaps whale oil in Poe's day.’
    • ‘The very well-known glycerine component in soaps is made mainly from animal fat, namely whale oil.’
    • ‘The industry was a major contributor to the city's wealth, with whale oil mixed with water being used to soften jute so it could be woven.’
    • ‘It was a 19th Century mentality that saved the whales, and found something better than whale oil to use as fuel.’
    • ‘In the effort to win, they lubricated their skis with concoctions of vegetable oil, animal fat, whale oil, and tree sap.’
    • ‘The search for fish, whale oil, and furs and a trade route to China has been succeeded by exploration for mineral resources and more recently by strategic military occupation.’
    • ‘That Olympia was once rebuilt for me at a shop in Iceland where they used whale oil to lubricate the mechanism.’
    • ‘Richer folk lit their homes with candles made from beeswax or whale oil, whilst poorer folk had to make do with smelly, smoky tallow candles made from animal fat.’
    • ‘The only preventive measure for trench foot was to keep feet dry, usually by applying whale oil to help form a protective barrier against moisture and by changing socks frequently.’
    • ‘Swan estimated that, by 1850, the Makah were producing 30,000 gallons of whale oil annually, most of it sold to European vessels.’
    • ‘Oil was first drilled in the 19th century because whale oil was getting expensive.’


whale oil

/ˈ(h)wāl ˌoil/