die·​sel | \ ˈdē-zəl How to pronounce diesel (audio) , -səl\

Definition of diesel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : a vehicle driven by a diesel engine


biographical name
Die·​sel | \ ˈdē-zəl How to pronounce Diesel (audio) , -səl\

Definition of Diesel (Entry 2 of 2)

Rudolf 1858–1913 German mechanical engineer

Examples of diesel in a Sentence


Does your car take diesel or gasoline?

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Agriculture and manufacturing were relatively stable over this period, while transportation saw a significant drop, primarily through cleaning up diesel emissions from trucks, rail, and boat transport. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "The fall of coal and its pollution-linked deaths is boosting the economy," 10 Sep. 2019 Of course, sales of diesel pickups are driven to a large degree by the expectation of better fuel efficiency compared to gasoline engines. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "2020 Ram EcoDiesel is strong, silent, but how fuel-stingy will it be?," 6 Sep. 2019 Since Volkswagen smashed its reputation in the diesel-emissions cheating scandal, the German carmaker has staked its future on zero-emission electric vehicles. Russ Mitchellstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Trump says automakers are ‘crazy’ to side with California. They don’t need another fight," 28 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, a state bill introduced this week in California’s senate takes aim at a loophole that results in particularly dirty diesel emissions from heavy-duty trucks. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "Automakers have agreed to California’s fuel-efficiency standards instead of Trump’s," 27 July 2019 The company remains under investigation in Germany and the U.S. over its cars diesel emissions. Alan Murray, Fortune, "The Rise of the “Deep Fakes”: CEO Daily," 24 July 2019 The new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is America’s most powerful half-ton diesel pickup, following up on Ram’s Heavy Duty torque leadership and achieving what no other manufacturer has, with up to 480 lb.-ft. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "New 2020 Ram 1500 will offer EcoDiesel," 10 June 2019 This will necessitate Saudi Arabia buying more gasoline, diesel and jet fuel on the open market. David Sheppard, Los Angeles Times, "Attack on Saudi facility exposes world economy’s ‘Achilles heel’," 16 Sep. 2019 By some estimates, the price per barrel could rise $5 to $10, which translates into 10- to 24-cent increases for gas, diesel and jet fuel, according to Tom Kloza, an analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Will the drone strikes in Saudi Arabia impact gas prices? Experts say yes.," 15 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diesel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of diesel


1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diesel


Rudolf Diesel

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Statistics for diesel

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for diesel

The first known use of diesel was in 1894

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More Definitions for diesel



English Language Learners Definition of diesel

: a vehicle (such as a truck or bus) that has a diesel engine


die·​sel | \ ˈdē-zəl How to pronounce diesel (audio) , -səl\

Kids Definition of diesel

2 : a vehicle that has a diesel engine

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More from Merriam-Webster on diesel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with diesel

Spanish Central: Translation of diesel

Nglish: Translation of diesel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diesel

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