noun, often attributive
fu·​el | \ ˈfyü(-ə)l How to pronounce fuel (audio) \

Definition of fuel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a material used to produce heat or power by burning
b : nutritive material
c : a material from which atomic energy can be liberated especially in a reactor
2 : a source of sustenance or incentive : reinforcement


fueled or fuelled; fueling or fuelling

Definition of fuel (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to provide with fuel
2 : support, stimulate movement is fueled by massive grants-in-aid— Allen Schick

intransitive verb

: to take in fuel often used with up

Synonyms for fuel

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of fuel in a Sentence

Noun I had the fuel pump replaced on my car. These latest scandals will provide further fuel for his political opponents. These latest accusations will only add fuel to the controversy. The controversy continues to rage, and these latest accusations will only add fuel to the fire. Verb The airplanes were fueled in midair. The criticism she has faced has only fueled her determination to succeed. Inflation was fueled by high prices. The strong economy has fueled the construction of new homes. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Food and fuel are the biggest inflation culprits, partly driven by the Ukraine War. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 19 May 2022 Inflation created more pressure than the company expected on margins, particularly in food and fuel, Walmart Chief Executive Doug McMillon said. Harriet Torry, WSJ, 17 May 2022 The Tanana Chiefs Conference brought in water, food and fuel to help power generators. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 11 May 2022 And yet rising food and fuel prices, which are aggravated by the war, pose a genuine threat to Mr. Biden. Mark Landler, New York Times, 11 May 2022 The day of violence has left Gotabaya Rajapaksa more isolated, with no government in place to lead Sri Lanka’s ongoing talks with the International Monetary Fund for emergency funds to buy food and fuel. Time, 10 May 2022 The country suspended debt payments in April and Sri Lankans have grappled with food and fuel shortages for months. Washington Post, 9 May 2022 Rimml hadn't been considered overdue compared to his planned return date and food and fuel supply, according to Denali National Park and Preserve officials. CBS News, 7 May 2022 The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has worsened the crisis, pushing food and fuel prices to a near all-time high. Priya Sippy, Quartz, 28 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Moreover, the rapid adoption of mobile phones owing to the growing popularity of social media platforms and other digital mediums for branding & marketing is anticipated to fuel the market growth. Charles Rotblut, Forbes, 18 May 2022 The conflicting claims to east Jerusalem often spill over into violence, helping fuel an 11-day war between Israel and Gaza militants last year and more recently sparking weeks of unrest at the city's most sensitive holy site. Josef Federman, ajc, 14 May 2022 The conflicting claims to east Jerusalem often spill over into violence, helping fuel an 11-day war between Israel and Gaza militants last year and more recently sparking weeks of unrest at the city’s most sensitive holy site. Josef Federman, Chicago Tribune, 13 May 2022 To keep your Bermuda grass looking lush and golf-course green from early spring to late fall, apply a fertilizer with nitrogen and potassium to fuel its growth and further protect it from weather extremes. Samantha Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 May 2022 One point from the investor call worth considering: As Talkspace tries to stabilize the business and preserve cash, new competitors are cropping up and existing rivals are raising (and spending) huge sums to fuel growth. Mohana Ravindranath, STAT, 9 May 2022 The company will partner with Legacy Redevelopment Corp. and Northwest Side Community Development Corp. to fuel small business growth and economic vitality in the Milwaukee community. Corrinne Hess, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 May 2022 For years, some investors worried Biogen was relying too heavily on Aduhelm’s success to fuel its growth, analysts said. Joseph Walker, WSJ, 4 May 2022 But to fuel that growth, and spread to other cities, OKAPI hopes to win support from regional governments and business sponsorships. Jordan Hernandez | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of fuel


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for fuel


Middle English fewel, from Anglo-French fuail, feuaile, from Vulgar Latin *focalia, from Latin focus hearth

Learn More About fuel

Time Traveler for fuel

Time Traveler

The first known use of fuel was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near fuel



fuel-air bomb

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Statistics for fuel

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fuel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fuel. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for fuel


fu·​el | \ ˈfyü-əl How to pronounce fuel (audio) \

Kids Definition of fuel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a substance (as oil or gasoline) that can be burned to produce heat or power


fueled or fuelled; fueling or fuelling

Kids Definition of fuel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to supply with or take on fuel

More from Merriam-Webster on fuel

Nglish: Translation of fuel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fuel for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fuel


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