ker·​o·​gen | \ ˈker-ə-jən How to pronounce kerogen (audio) , ˈke-rə- \

Definition of kerogen

: bituminous material occurring in shale and yielding oil when heated

Examples of kerogen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Earth's kerogen was formed when geologic forces compressed the ancient remains of algae and similar critters. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "NASA rover hits organic pay dirt on Mars," 7 June 2018 Such a macromolecule might potentially look something like kerogen, Eigenbrode said — a substance that’s found in coal and black shale and meteorites. Amina Khan,, "Curiosity rover's findings on Mars' organic molecules offer tantalizing clues in the search for life on the planet," 8 June 2018 The molecules could have come from something like kerogen, a component of fossil fuel that is found in coal and oil shale. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, "Life on Mars? Rover’s Latest Discovery Puts It ‘On the Table’," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kerogen.' 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 kerogen

1906, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kerogen

Greek kēros wax + English -gen — more at cerumen

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Time Traveler for kerogen

Time Traveler

The first known use of kerogen was in 1906

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Cite this Entry

“Kerogen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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