petroleum

18 ENTRIES FOUND:

pe·tro·leum

noun \pə-ˈtrō-lē-əm, -ˈtrōl-yəm\

: a kind of oil that comes from below the ground and that is the source of gasoline and other products

Full Definition of PETROLEUM

:  an oily flammable bituminous liquid that may vary from almost colorless to black, occurs in many places in the upper strata of the earth, is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons with small amounts of other substances, and is prepared for use as gasoline, naphtha, or other products by various refining processes

Origin of PETROLEUM

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Latin petr- + oleum oil — more at oil
First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with PETROLEUM

pe·tro·leum

noun \pə-ˈtrō-lē-əm, -ˈtrōl-yəm\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of PETROLEUM

: an oily flammable bituminous liquid that may vary from almost colorless to black, occurs in many places in the upper strata of the earth, is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons with small amounts of other substances, and is prepared for use as gasoline, naphtha, or other products by various refining processes

petroleum

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Complex mixture of hydrocarbons derived from the geologic transformation and decomposition of plants and animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. As a technical term, petroleum encompasses the liquid (crude oil), gaseous (natural gas), and viscous or solid (bitumen, asphalt) forms of hydrocarbons that occur in the Earth, but the meaning is often restricted to the liquid oil form. Crude oil and natural gas are the most important primary fossil fuels. Asphalt has been used since ancient times to caulk ships and pave roads. In the mid 1800s petroleum began to replace whale oil in lamps, and the first well specifically to extract it was drilled in 1859. The development of the automobile gave petroleum a new role as the source of gasoline. Petroleum and its products have since been used as fuels for heating, for land, air, and sea transport, and for electric power generation and as petrochemical sources and lubricants. Crude oil and natural gas, produced mostly in Saudi Arabia, the U.S., and Russia, now account for about 60% of world energy consumption; the U.S. is by far the largest consumer. At present rates of consumption, the known supply will be exhausted by the mid 21st century. Petroleum is recovered from drilled wells, transported by pipeline or tanker ship to refineries, and there converted to fuels and petrochemicals.

Variants of PETROLEUM

petroleum or crude oil

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