All fluids, i.e., all liquids and gases, exhibit viscosity to some degree. Viscosity may be thought of as fluid friction, just as the friction between two solids resists the motion of one over the other but also makes possible the acceleration of one relative to the other (e.g., the friction between the wheels of an automobile and a highway), so viscosity resists the motion of a solid through a fluid but also makes it possible for a propeller or other device to accelerate the solid through the fluid.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.