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Alternative forms[edit]


From Latin unguentum (ointment), from unguō (I smear with ointment), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃engʷ- (to salve, anoint). Cognates include Old Prussian anctan, Old High German ancho (German anke (butter)), Welsh ymenyn (butter).


  • IPA(key): /ˈʌŋɡwənt/, (nonstandard) /ʌnd͡ʒ(u)ənt/
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unguent (plural unguents)

  1. Any cream containing medicinal ingredients applied to the skin for therapeutic purposes.
    • 1809-1812William Combe, Tour of Doctor Syntax in Search of the Picturesque
      "Alas!" said Syntax, "could I pop / Just now, upon a blacksmith's shop, / Whose cooling unguents would avail / To save poor Grizzle's ears and tail!"
    • 1853Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Golden Fleece
      So she put a golden box into his hand, and directed him how to apply the perfumed unguent which it contained, and where to meet her at midnight.
    • 1890Arthur Conan Doyle, A Literary Mosaic
      Thou knowest of old that my temper is somewhat choleric, and my tongue not greased with that unguent which oils the mouths of the lip-serving lords of the land.

Related terms[edit]

Category English terms derived from the PIE root *h₃engʷ- not found


See also[edit]




  1. third-person plural future active indicative of unguō