pet·​ro·​dol·​lar ˈpe-trō-ˌdä-lər How to pronounce petrodollar (audio)
: a dollar's worth of foreign exchange obtained by a petroleum-exporting country through sales abroad
usually used in plural

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Beijing and Riyadh have not confirmed rumors that the two sides are discussing abandoning the petrodollar. Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN, 10 Dec. 2022 The loss of petrodollars and the blow to sentiment have also hit non-oil GDP, where an expansion of almost 5% in 2017 turned into a contraction of more than 4% in each of the last two years. Ziad Daoud,, 10 May 2020 In the belief that democracy in one Arab state is a threat to all, regimes flush with petrodollars have cracked down mercilessly on political activity and media. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 May 2020 Propped up by a windfall of petrodollars, the Kremlin has little incentive to rescue small companies. Ivan Nechepurenko, New York Times, 11 Apr. 2020 That threatened the future of the U.S. shale industry, the stability of oil-dependent states and squeezed the flow of petrodollars through an ailing global economy. Fortune, 13 Apr. 2020 That threatened the future of the US shale industry and the stability of oil-dependent states and squeezed the flow of petrodollars through an ailing global economy. Grant Smith,, 12 Apr. 2020 Almost all international trades in oil are priced in dollars, hence the term petrodollars. Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2019 Firstly, at the time of its conception, the Nigerian government had a large amount of petrodollars. Astrid R.n. Haas, Quartz Africa, 1 Nov. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'petrodollar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


petro- + dollar

First Known Use

1973, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of petrodollar was in 1973

Dictionary Entries Near petrodollar

Cite this Entry

“Petrodollar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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