ker·​o·​sene | \ˈker-ə-ˌsēn, ˌker-ə-ˈsēn\
variants: or less commonly kerosine

Definition of kerosene 

: a flammable hydrocarbon oil usually obtained by distillation of petroleum and used as a fuel, solvent, and thinner

Examples of kerosene in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The announced fuel hikes, which took effect at midnight Friday before being temporarily suspended, called for a 38 percent increase for gas, 47 percent for diesel and 51 percent for kerosene. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "Haiti has put a fuel hike on hold. But is it enough to save the prime minister's job?," 7 July 2018 Lafotant said the increases in gasoline, diesel and kerosene were needed to balance the nation's budget. Fox News, "Gutfeld: The lone effectiveness of Trump," 15 July 2018 The capital has stood paralyzed since July 6, following the government announcement that gasoline prices would rise by 38 percent, diesel by 47 percent and kerosene by 51 percent starting this weekend. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "Haitian officials knew the gas price hike would be unpopular. They did it anyway," 10 July 2018 The chaos started Friday, when the Haitian government announced its plan to raise prices on gasoline, diesel and kerosene. Amanda Erickson, Anchorage Daily News, "Unrest in Haiti leaves dozens of American church groups stranded and unable to leave," 9 July 2018 On Friday, with little notice, the government raised the prices on gas by 38 percent, kerosene by 51 percent and diesel by 47 percent — while many Haitians were distracted by the Brazil-Belgium World Cup Game. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "Haiti’s low fuel prices unfairly benefit the rich and need to be raised, IMF says," 12 July 2018 The demonstrations began after the Commerce Ministry and Economic Ministry issued a joint statement announcing an increase of 38 percent to 51 percent for gasoline, diesel and kerosene. Fox News, "Violent protests erupt in Haiti as fuel prices spike," 6 July 2018 How many people were killed or injured from the collision is impossible to say; in the moments after impact, the kerosene lamps that hung in the hallways of the wooden cars quickly set everything aflame. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "The Hammond Train Wreck of 1918 Killed Scores of Circus Performers," 22 June 2018 The pair, working with a few other classmates, identified a huge pain point for villagers in Sub-Saharan Africa: an over-reliance on diesel and kerosene as energy sources, creating a costly, inefficient system. Elena Weissmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Madison-based clean energy startup takes first prize in Gov Biz Plan Contest," 8 June 2018

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

1854, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kerosene

Greek kēros + English -ene (as in camphene)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kerosene

Statistics for kerosene

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kerosene

The first known use of kerosene was in 1854

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for kerosene



English Language Learners Definition of kerosene

: a type of oil that is burned as a fuel


ker·​o·​sene | \ˈker-ə-ˌsēn \

Kids Definition of kerosene

: a thin oil obtained from petroleum and used as a fuel and solvent


variants: also kerosine \ˈker-​ə-​ˌsēn, ˌker-​ə-​ˈ, ˈkar-​, ˌkar-​ \

Medical Definition of kerosene 

: a flammable hydrocarbon oil usually obtained by distillation of petroleum and used for a fuel and as a solvent and thinner (as in insecticide emulsions)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on kerosene

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kerosene

Spanish Central: Translation of kerosene

Nglish: Translation of kerosene for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about kerosene

Comments on kerosene

What made you want to look up kerosene? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!