die·sel | \ˈdē-zəl, -səl\

Definition of diesel 

(Entry 1 of 2)

2 : a vehicle driven by a diesel engine


biographical name
Die·sel | \ˈdē-zəl, -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 first such analysis since the 2015 Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, the results show more than 4,000 vehicle models exceeding nitrogen oxides (NOx) levels set by the European Union. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Almost All European Diesel Cars Are Dirty, New Study Finds," 7 June 2018 Houston fire stations lack in-house gear cleaners and just one has a system to protect firefighters from poisonous diesel fumes. Zach Despart, Houston Chronicle, "Amid probe of HFD, Texas fire commission adopts stricter rule on gear cleaning," 13 July 2018 Puerto Rico had fuel after Maria, but no easy way to get it to people, leading to endless lines at gas stations and a black market for diesel sales. Frances Robles, New York Times, "FEMA Was Sorely Unprepared for Puerto Rico Hurricane, Report Says," 12 July 2018 Shifting that over to electric propulsion, instead of diesel, would help cut carbon emissions. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "Sweden's Electric Robo-Truck Is Made for Life in the Forest," 12 July 2018 On Friday, with little notice, the government raised the prices on gas by 38 percent, kerosene by 51 percent and diesel by 47 percent — while many Haitians were distracted by the Brazil-Belgium World Cup Game. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "Haiti’s low fuel prices unfairly benefit the rich and need to be raised, IMF says," 12 July 2018 Two fans keep air flowing, extra insulation traps in heat during extreme cold, and a central command center controls the mechanicals, hot water, 200 watts of solar, 2,000-watt inverter, and the Espar hydronic diesel heater. Megan Barber, Curbed, "This custom camper van can sleep a family of 6," 11 July 2018 Currently, research boats are largely powered by diesel, but a shift to hydrogen fuel cells could offer some significant advantages over traditional technologies. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "A hydrogen-powered research boat has many advantages over diesel, lab says," 5 July 2018 The Volkswagen diesel-emissions scandal tarnished the reputation of the entire industry, and German carmakers have been considered slow to shift to hybrid or electric vehicles. Griff Witte And Rick Noack, chicagotribune.com, "Trump's tariff threats suddenly look very real for Germany's car industry," 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

15 Oct 2018

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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, -səl\

Kids Definition of diesel

2 : a vehicle that has a diesel engine

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Comments on diesel

What made you want to look up diesel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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