ker·​o·​sene | \ ˈker-ə-ˌsēn How to pronounce kerosene (audio) , ˌker-ə-ˈsēn How to pronounce kerosene (audio) \
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 They were furnished with a can of kerosene oil and matches.... Smithsonian Magazine, "The Burning: The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921," 17 Mar. 2021 Roughly 85% of folks had ditched kerosene lamps by the end of the decade. Stephen Mcbride, Forbes, "America Is Transforming Before Our Eyes," 9 Mar. 2021 The rocket, which has a kerosene-LOX first stage, is capable of lifting about 8.5 metric tons to low-Earth orbit. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: SN9 rolls to the launch pad, SLS “wet dress” test ends early," 23 Dec. 2020 This is especially true while burning material that contains carbon, like natural gas, gasoline, kerosene, oil, propane, coal, or wood. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "How to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning While Warming Your Home," 18 Feb. 2021 Instead, a concept using three 5-meter diameter first-stage cores and clusters of YF-100K engines—uprated versions of the YF-100 kerosene engines used by China's new Long March 5, 6, and 7 launchers—now appears to be integral to China's plans. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: SLS has technical problems, Vector—yes, Vector—is back," 6 Nov. 2020 The Falcon 9 burns less-powerful kerosene and oxygen. William Harwood, CBS News, "SpaceX launches Starship prototype on spectacular test flight, rocket explodes on touchdown," 10 Dec. 2020 This engine has several optimizations, one of which is the use of liquid oxygen—rather than solely room temperature kerosene—to regeneratively cool the engine's throat and cylinder. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Meet Launcher, the rocket engine builder with just eight employees," 9 Nov. 2020 Commonly known for the Aladdin kerosene lamp, the company made electric lamps from the 1930s to 1956. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, "All aglow with circumstance: Yenke Peddler antiques," 10 Dec. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of kerosene

1854, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kerosene

Greek kēros + English -ene (as in camphene)

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Time Traveler for kerosene

Time Traveler

The first known use of kerosene was in 1854

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Statistics for kerosene

Last Updated

26 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Kerosene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for kerosene



English Language Learners Definition of kerosene

chiefly US : a type of oil that is burned as a fuel


ker·​o·​sene | \ ˈker-ə-ˌsēn How to pronounce kerosene (audio) \

Kids Definition of kerosene

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


variants: also kerosine \ ˈker-​ə-​ˌsēn How to pronounce kerosene (audio) , ˌker-​ə-​ˈ How to pronounce kerosene (audio) , 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)

More from Merriam-Webster on kerosene

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

Comments on kerosene

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