1. Soft or melted animal fat, especially after rendering.
2. A thick oil or viscous substance, especially when used as a lubricant.
a. The oily substance present in raw wool; suint.
b. Raw wool that has not been cleansed of this oily substance.
4. Slang Something, such as money or influence, that facilitates the attainment of an object or a desire: accepted some grease to fix the outcome of the race.
tr.v. (grēs, grēz) greased, greas·ing, greas·esIdiom:
1. To coat, smear, or soil with grease: greased the pie pan.
2. To lubricate with grease.
3. To facilitate the progress of.
4. Slang To kill. See Note at greasy.
grease (someone's) palm/hand Slang
[Middle English grese, from Anglo-Norman grece, from Vulgar Latin *crassia, from Latin crassus, fat, thick.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.