petrol

noun

pet·​rol ˈpe-trəl How to pronounce petrol (audio)
-ˌträl
chiefly British

Examples of petrol in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Damien Ernst, an energy expert and professor at the University of Liege in Belgium, said the strikes have taken more than 10 percent of Russia’s oil-refining capacity off line, temporarily reducing the country’s ability to turn its crude oil into usable products like gasoline, diesel and petrol. Constant Méheut, New York Times, 9 May 2024 Nothing lasts forever, not even an array of colors brightening up a puddle of petrol. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 9 May 2024 Cars are changing massively, from petrol to electric to driverless. Julia Hobsbawm, Fortune, 22 Apr. 2024 Even in Norway, which is on track to become the first market to have more EVs on its roads than petrol cars, sales halved in the past year. Ryan Hogg, Fortune Europe, 19 Apr. 2024 In the old day Paris taxis were famous the world over for the furious way in which they were driven, but all that is now at thing of the past owing to the tremendous scarcity of petrol, which has all been requisitioned for the Nazi war machine. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 17 Apr. 2024 At the entrance to the property, guests posed for photos in front of a petrol blue backdrop formed from three silvery letter Ts. Laura May Todd, New York Times, 16 Apr. 2024 Customers can also choose from more than 50 BMW individual special paint finishes, including turban green, petrol mica metallic, anglesey green metallic and sepia metallic. James Raia, The Mercury News, 31 Mar. 2024 Her destination was to be Paris, but her flight was disrupted by petrol leak, which forced her to land in Donegal. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, 28 Mar. 2024

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

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from French pétrole "petroleum, any of various products distilled from petroleum," going back to Old French petteroile, petrole "mineral oil, petroleum," borrowed from Medieval Latin petroleum — more at petroleum

Note: The use of the word in English is apparently owed to a cooperative endeavor by the British distilling and oil refining firm Carless, Capel and Leonard and the engineer Frederick Richard Simms, who had purchased the rights to Gottlieb Daimler's gasoline-powered engine. Though an attempt to register petrol as a trademark was unsuccessful, Carless, Capel and Leonard continued to use it as a marketing name. Note that French pétrole (rather than essence de pétrole) is used for distilled petroleum products by Gustave Richard in Les nouveaux moteurs à gaz et à pétrole (Paris, 1892). The now usual French word essence for "gasoline" is shortened from essence de pétrole.

First Known Use

1895, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of petrol was in 1895

Dictionary Entries Near petrol

Cite this Entry

“Petrol.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/petrol. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

petrol

noun
pet·​rol ˈpe-trəl How to pronounce petrol (audio)
-ˌträl
chiefly British

More from Merriam-Webster on petrol

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