fossil fuel


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 How to pronounce fossil-fueled (audio) \ adjective

Examples of fossil fuel in a Sentence

oil and other fossil fuels
Recent Examples on the Web Secondly, businesses must move faster to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Grant Reid For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Mars CEO: Business leaders must help fight the climate crisis," 13 Jan. 2020 What's been lacking is a clear measure of the impact of pollution from fossil fuels. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Ditching coal in the US is saving lives, helping crops," 6 Jan. 2020 And on the other side of the coin, investors are starting to rapidly divest from fossil fuels. Elijah Wolfson, Time, "20 Ways the World Got Better in 2019, in Charts," 23 Dec. 2019 To curb emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases, society must switch from fossil fuels to renewable forms of energy. Andrea Thompson, Scientific American, "Switching to Renewables Can Hurt Vulnerable Groups—Unless Utilities Plan Ahead," 18 Dec. 2019 Economists say market mechanisms can speed up the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Frank Jordans, The Denver Post, "How Madrid talks fell short on climate ambition," 15 Dec. 2019 Plans typically reduce emissions from electricity generation by switching it away from fossil fuels, then electrify other carbon-belching activities, such as driving cars and heating buildings. The Economist, "Power storage is the missing link in green-energy plans," 30 Nov. 2019 Before long, Gunn-Wright was drawing on her Oxford master’s degree in comparative social policy to sketch the framework for how the country could shift away from fossil fuels. Karen L. Smith-janssen, Marie Claire, "The Architect Behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal Has a Plan to Save the Planet—and All of Us," 4 Oct. 2019 In a new twist on nationalizing Kentucky politics, Republicans tried to link Democrats to the Green New Deal, which would shift energy supplies away from fossil fuels like coal to curb greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. Bruce Schreiner, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Kentucky Dem looks to made inroads in pro-Trump coal country," 2 Oct. 2019

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

Time Traveler for fossil fuel

Time Traveler

The first known use of fossil fuel was in 1759

See more words from the same year

Statistics for fossil fuel

Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fossil fuel.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Rhyming Dictionary: 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).


to express in a more acceptable way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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