fossil fuel

noun

Definition of fossil fuel 

: a fuel (such as coal, oil, or natural gas) formed in the earth from plant or animal remains

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fossil fuel

fossil-fueled \ˈfä-səl-ˌfyü(-ə)ld \ adjective

Examples of fossil fuel in a Sentence

oil and other fossil fuels

Recent Examples on the Web

Much of the recent opposition stems from environmentalists who have targeted the transportation of oil and natural gas as part of a broader effort to curtail production of fossil fuels, blamed for accelerating global warming. Katherine Blunt, San Antonio Express-News, "Building pipeline support, one chicken, lamb and goat at a time," 5 July 2018 In his order to dismiss the case, Judge William Alsup, who was presiding over the lawsuit, agreed that burning fossil fuels has contributed to global warming and sea level rise. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Oil companies can’t be sued for climate change even though it’s real, judge rules," 26 June 2018 They're produced by burning fossil fuel, such as natural gas in home furnaces and water heaters — and in huge power plants that generate electricity for air conditioners and televisions. George Skelton, latimes.com, "California is the first state to require solar panels on new homes. Here's why Big Brother is on to something," 21 May 2018 That much electricity demand would force utilities to build new power plants, and many of those new power plants would burn fossil fuels. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Bitcoin's Ridiculous Electricity Usage Has Already Doubled This Year," 17 May 2018 In a presentation of the science behind climate change, Stamnitz defined global warming as the rapid increase in the earth’s average temperature over the past century due to greenhouse gases released by people burning fossil fuels. Joyce Strand, Ramona Sentinel, "Indivisible Ramona forum addresses environment, degulation," 15 Apr. 2018 What is less understood is that even when governments force public utilities to buy renewables, power companies still have to use fossil fuels or uranium to keep the grid up and running when the sun and wind are off duty. George Melloan, WSJ, "Pruitt Leaves a Proud Legacy at the EPA," 11 July 2018 One source of income Levine is no longer tapped into, according to his campaign: fossil fuels. David Smiley, Joey Flechas And Danny Rivero, miamiherald, "Hustle and Flow: How Philip Levine made the money that’s financing his bid for governor," 10 July 2018 Under the landmark accord, nearly every country had committed to reducing emissions of planet-warming fossil fuel pollution. New York Times, "E.P.A. Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns Under a Cloud of Ethics Scandals," 5 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of fossil fuel

1759, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fossil fuel

Share fossil fuel

Statistics for fossil fuel

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fossil fuel

The first known use of fossil fuel was in 1759

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fossil fuel

fossil fuel

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fossil fuel

: a fuel (such as coal, oil, or natural gas) that is formed in the earth from dead plants or animals

More from Merriam-Webster on fossil fuel

See words that rhyme with fossil fuel

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fossil fuel

Comments on fossil fuel

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

WORD OF THE DAY

not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!