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

The threat of driving bans is already causing the market share of diesel vehicles to collapse. Wolfgang Kerler, The Verge, "You thought Dieselgate was over? It’s not.," 18 Sep. 2018 The average price for diesel was up 2 cents, to $3 per gallon. BostonGlobe.com, "Mars spaceship could make test flights next year," 12 Mar. 2018 Alaska processors produce more than 90,000 tons of fish oil, most of which is burned as a substitute for diesel, or is sold into lower-value commodity markets. Laine Welch, Anchorage Daily News, "Seafood industry seeks new value in fish parts," 15 Jan. 2018 Its fuel tanks hold 11,112 gallons — at a little over $2.30 a gallon for diesel, that's about $25,500 for a fill-up. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "A US Navy Warship, Yours For $180,000," 4 Feb. 2015 Petrol and diesel cars registered before 2000 and 2006, respectively, will be restricted, while hybrid vehicles will be allowed to enter the area and park for a maximum of two hours. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Madrid’s ban on polluting vehicles cuts traffic by nearly 32 percent in some areas," 3 Dec. 2018 The all-new Sprinter offers the flexibility of choosing either a gasoline or diesel powerplant. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The All-New 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Is Pushing Commercial Utility Into the Future," 1 Dec. 2018 As the name suggests, GasBuddy helps sniff out deals on gasoline and diesel in the U.S. and Canada. Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, "Seriously, save money on gas, hotels and shopping with these 8 apps," 26 June 2018 An initiative to repeal the recent increase to state gasoline and diesel taxes, which is raising billions of dollars for repaving and other transportation projects, qualified for the November ballot on Monday. Alexei Koseff, sacbee, "What you need to know about California's gas tax repeal initiative," 25 June 2018

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

19 Mar 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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