Volatile oils
Volatile Vol"a*tile, a. [F. volatil, L. volatilis, fr. volare to fly, perhaps akin to velox swift, E. velocity. Cf. {Volley}.] 1. Passing through the air on wings, or by the buoyant force of the atmosphere; flying; having the power to fly. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

2. Capable of wasting away, or of easily passing into the a["e]riform state; subject to evaporation. [1913 Webster]

Note: Substances which affect the smell with pungent or fragrant odors, as musk, hartshorn, and essential oils, are called volatile substances, because they waste away on exposure to the atmosphere. Alcohol and ether are called volatile liquids for a similar reason, and because they easily pass into the state of vapor on the application of heat. On the contrary, gold is a fixed substance, because it does not suffer waste, even when exposed to the heat of a furnace; and oils are called fixed when they do not evaporate on simple exposure to the atmosphere. [1913 Webster]

3. Fig.: Light-hearted; easily affected by circumstances; airy; lively; hence, changeable; fickle; as, a volatile temper. [1913 Webster]

You are as giddy and volatile as ever. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

{Volatile alkali}. (Old Chem.) See under {Alkali}.

{Volatile liniment}, a liniment composed of sweet oil and ammonia, so called from the readiness with which the latter evaporates.

{Volatile oils}. (Chem.) See {Essential oils}, under {Essential}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • volatile oils — see ↑essential oils under ↑essence • • • Main Entry: ↑volatile …   Useful english dictionary

  • volatile oils — Essential Es*sen tial ([e^]s*s[e^]n sjal), a. [Cf. F. essentiel. See {Essence}.] 1. Belonging to the essence, or that which makes an object, or class of objects, what it is. [1913 Webster] Majestic as the voice sometimes became, there was forever …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Volatile — Vol a*tile, a. [F. volatil, L. volatilis, fr. volare to fly, perhaps akin to velox swift, E. velocity. Cf. {Volley}.] 1. Passing through the air on wings, or by the buoyant force of the atmosphere; flying; having the power to fly. [Obs.] [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Volatile alkali — Volatile Vol a*tile, a. [F. volatil, L. volatilis, fr. volare to fly, perhaps akin to velox swift, E. velocity. Cf. {Volley}.] 1. Passing through the air on wings, or by the buoyant force of the atmosphere; flying; having the power to fly. [Obs.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Volatile liniment — Volatile Vol a*tile, a. [F. volatil, L. volatilis, fr. volare to fly, perhaps akin to velox swift, E. velocity. Cf. {Volley}.] 1. Passing through the air on wings, or by the buoyant force of the atmosphere; flying; having the power to fly. [Obs.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • OILS — (Heb. יִצְהָר ;שֶׁמֶן, new oil ; תַּמְרוּק, מֶרְקָחָה, ointment ), unctuous, inflammable substances, usually liquid, obtained from animal, vegetable, or mineral matter. In Job 29:6 and Deuteronomy 32:13, the references to oil flowing from rocks… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • volatile oil — n an oil that vaporizes readily esp ESSENTIAL OIL compare FATTY OIL * * * an oil that evaporates readily; such oils are usually found in aromatic plants, to which they give odor and other characteristics. Most consist of a mixture of two or more… …   Medical dictionary

  • Volatile anaesthetic — The volatile anaesthetics are a class of general anaesthetic drugs. They share the property of being liquid at room temperature, but evaporating easily for administration by inhalation (some experts make a distinction between volatile and gas… …   Wikipedia

  • volatile oil — /vɒlətaɪl ˈɔɪl/ (say voluhtuyl oyl) noun a distilled oil, especially an essential oil distilled from plant tissue. Such oils are distinguished from glyceride oils by their volatility and failure to saponify …   Australian English dictionary

  • Volatile alkali — Alkali Al ka*li (?; 277), n.; pl. {Alkalis} or {Alkalies}. [F. alcali, ultimately fr. Ar. alqal[=i] ashes of the plant saltwort, fr. qalay to roast in a pan, fry.] 1. Soda ash; caustic soda, caustic potash, etc. [1913 Webster] 2. (Chem.) One of a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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