pet·​ro·​chem·​i·​cal ˌpe-trō-ˈke-mi-kəl How to pronounce petrochemical (audio)
: a chemical isolated or derived from petroleum or natural gas
petrochemistry noun

Examples of petrochemical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Having won permission to build a multibillion dollar petrochemical plant in Guangdong Province, the company wants to be a key supplier of plastics to the country’s manufacturing industry for decades to come. Thomas Black, Fortune, 15 Nov. 2023 Jim Ratcliffe, the British petrochemicals billionaire, was on a 5,000-mile motorcycle journey through the Andes a few years ago and feeling pretty bored with the state of sports. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 20 Oct. 2023 Ratcliffe’s petrochemical firm INEOS, which also owns a cycling team and French soccer club OSG Nice, is a one-third owner in Mercedes alongside Wolff and Mercedes Benz-AG. Byryan Hogg, Fortune, 11 Oct. 2023 Advertisement Susanne Rust, who has exposed the duplicity of petrochemical corporations who denied global warming in public but acknowledged it in boardrooms, will continue her focus on climate investigations. Los Angeles Times, 26 Sep. 2023 ExxonMobil is also planning to leverage lucrative tax credits in the climate and infrastructure measures that President Biden championed to build vast new infrastructure to capture carbon emissions created by the petrochemical facilities in the Houston area. Evan Halper, Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2023 After visiting China in late March, Anwar won a $40 billion investment commitment from Beijing that will go toward sectors like petrochemicals and automobiles. Bynicholas Gordon, Fortune, 1 Sep. 2023 Even more companies are looking to biology, identifying bacteria or plants and fungi that can absorb petrochemicals and harmful metals. Matthew King, The New Republic, 18 Aug. 2023 Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who was also on the conference call, said his state, with its experience in petrochemical manufacturing, density of pipelines and geology, is best suited for projects that tackle carbon. Time, 11 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


petro- + chemical entry 2

First Known Use

1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of petrochemical was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near petrochemical

Cite this Entry

“Petrochemical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


pet·​ro·​chem·​i·​cal ˌpe-trō-ˈkem-i-kəl How to pronounce petrochemical (audio)
: a chemical obtained from petroleum or natural gas

More from Merriam-Webster on petrochemical

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