fossil fuel


Definition of fossil fuel 

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

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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

Trump’s unstinting support for fossil fuels is federal Republicanism for now, with shrinking exceptions. David Roberts, Vox, "After the midterms, US climate politics are even more polarized. Here’s how Dems can move forward.," 12 Nov. 2018 Of course, not every alternative to fossil fuels will be equally beneficial. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Wind power makes the ground warmer even as it cools the planet," 7 Oct. 2018 Unfortunately, one of climate change’s main causes — the burning of fossil fuels — is tied to many nations’ economic structure, including that of the United States. Emily Hernandez, Teen Vogue, "What Is Climate Change? Everything You Need To Know About Global Warming," 17 July 2018 The disaster also dealt a severe blow to the global nuclear industry, which had been gaining favor even among some environmentalists as a carbon-free alternative to fossil fuels. Vince Beiser, WIRED, "The Robot Assault On Fukushima," 26 Apr. 2018 Smith thinks that if enough buy a Wave bracelet, office buildings can turn down their heaters and air conditioners, saving companies millions in energy bills and easing demand for fossil fuels. Hiawatha Bray,, "Climate control on your wrist," 19 Apr. 2018 These alternative sources of oil are resulting in growing production and even faster-rising estimates of domestic fossil fuel reserves. Jerry Beilinson, Popular Mechanics, "Shell Oil Cancels 2013 Arctic Drilling. Now What?," 27 Feb. 2013 Earth was getting warmer as greenhouse gases rose due to more than a century of fossil fuel burning, beginning with the Industrial Revolution. Rocky Barker, idahostatesman, "Get used to the smoke. We're on track for more wildfires - and they'll reshape Idaho. | Idaho Statesman," 27 May 2018 The consumption of fossil fuels causes serious and costly damage to our environment, hurting everyone. Phillip Molnar,, "Should the state gas tax be repealed?," 23 Feb. 2018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.

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First Known Use of fossil fuel

1759, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for fossil fuel

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fossil fuel

The first known use of fossil fuel was in 1759

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More Definitions for fossil fuel

fossil fuel


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 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).


noxious or harmful

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