fuel

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

fuel

verb
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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Famine and drought are adding fuel to the ongoing global refugee crisis. The Christian Science Monitor, "the viability of centrism in U.S. politics," 16 Sep. 2019 Airlines increased their fuel efficiency by 3 percent on average last year, according to a new report from the International Council on Clean Transportation. Maxine Joselow, Scientific American, "Rising Emissions Overshadow Airlines’ Fuel Efficiency Gains," 12 Sep. 2019 An Alaska swimming official’s disqualification of a high school student athlete for wearing an allegedly revealing swimsuit has added fuel to the controversy over the policing of female athletes’ bodies. Tara Law, Time, "Alaskan Teen's Swim Meet Victory Reinstated On Appeal After She Was Disqualified Over a Swimsuit 'Wedgie' an Official Deemed Immodest," 11 Sep. 2019 Most states can't set their own fuel-efficiency guidelines; California is a special case. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Trump admin threatens California, automakers over emissions deal," 6 Sep. 2019 The development adds fuel to a refinancing wave that has already begun. R.a. Schuetz, Houston Chronicle, "Falling mortgage rates mean $4 trillion worth of debt could benefit from refinancing," 5 Sep. 2019 Like adding more fuel to a fire, warm water (whether heated by regular summer temperatures or greenhouse gases) make hurricanes stronger. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "How warm oceans supercharge deadly hurricanes," 4 Sep. 2019 However, Suarez's comments will only add fuel to the fire. SI.com, "Luis Suarez Discusses Potential Neymar Barcelona Return & His Own Future With La Liga Champions," 31 Aug. 2019 The government would need to expand its fiscal stimulus, but it is worried about adding fuel to China’s debt problem. The Economist, "China’s interest-rate revamp highlights the slow march of reform," 22 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Rasgon is concerned that the Scientific Reports paper has fueled unfounded suspicions about GM organisms. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Study on DNA spread by genetically modified mosquitoes prompts backlash," 17 Sep. 2019 That poor data fueled speculation that Chinese authorities would take more steps to stimulate the economy, including a potential loan rate cut Tuesday. Laura He, CNN, "Oil prices are pulling back a little but investors remain wary," 17 Sep. 2019 Only now, what’s left is a family with incompetent heirs fueled not by faith, but by power. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Tragicomedy of the American Dream," 16 Sep. 2019 The company’s rapid rise to the top of the multibillion-dollar U.S. e-cigarette market has been accompanied by accusations from parents, politicians and public health advocates that Juul fueled a vaping craze among high schoolers. USA TODAY, "Space dummy, Bigfoot denial, pumped-up pumpkin: News from around our 50 states," 2 Sep. 2019 The company's rapid rise to the top of the multi-billion dollar U.S. e-cigarette market has been accompanied by accusations from parents, politicians and public health advocates that Juul fueled a vaping craze among high schoolers. CBS News, "Probes of e-cigarette giant Juul underway in Illinois and Washington, D.C.," 30 Aug. 2019 Their suit says animal welfare organizations have made unfounded claims that pet stores are fueling the growth of puppy mills. Michael Kunzelman, chicagotribune.com, "Maryland pet stores sue to block state ban on dog, cat sales," 30 Aug. 2019 Their suit says animal welfare organizations have made unfounded claims that pet stores are fueling the growth of puppy mills. BostonGlobe.com, "At G7 conference, Trump scoffs at wind power’s future," 27 Aug. 2019 Their suit says animal welfare organizations have made unfounded claims that pet stores are fueling the growth of puppy mills. Michael Kunzelman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Maryland pet stores sue to block state ban on dog, cat sales," 26 Aug. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of fuel

Noun

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

Verb

1592, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for fuel

Noun

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

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Statistics for fuel

Last Updated

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for fuel

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

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More Definitions for fuel

fuel

noun
How to pronounce fuel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fuel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a material (such as coal, oil, or gas) that is burned to produce heat or power
: something that gives support or strength to something (such as argument or angry feelings)

fuel

verb

English Language Learners Definition of fuel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to supply (something) with fuel
: to take in fuel
: to give support or strength to (something)

fuel

noun
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

fuel

verb
fueled or fuelled; fueling or fuelling

Kids Definition of fuel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to supply with or take on fuel

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More from Merriam-Webster on fuel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fuel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fuel

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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