ker·​o·​gen ˈker-ə-jən How to pronounce kerogen (audio)
: 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, 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,, 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, 7 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kerogen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Greek kēros wax + English -gen — more at cerumen

First Known Use

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kerogen was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near kerogen

Cite this Entry

“Kerogen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

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