pet·​rol | \ ˈpe-trəl How to pronounce petrol (audio) , -ˌträl \

Definition of petrol

chiefly British

Examples of petrol in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Across the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, cars and petrol stations were burnt, shops and businesses looted. The Economist, "The fragile federation A musician’s murder sparks mayhem in Ethiopia," 11 July 2020 In addition, the prices of Brent crude (raw material for petrol and diesel) are inching up, which may push fuel prices in India further higher. Prathamesh Mulye, Quartz India, "Charted: Why your fuel bills in India are rising," 7 July 2020 After years of fixing the petrol price close to zero, Venezuela’s government raised it to near market levels. The Economist, "Politics this week," 6 June 2020 Production will respond, of course, as demand rises for jet fuel, petrol and diesel. The Economist, "After the fall Investment in oil supply has collapsed. It may not roar back," 11 June 2020 Sunday Alamba Three days before a lockdown came into effect in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, Esther Miller, a 23-year-old user interface designer, purchased 150 liters of petrol in anticipation of having to use her generator a lot more. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "The coronavirus lockdown in Africa’s largest city opens the door to increased generator pollution," 2 Apr. 2020 Wong mentions visiting several protesters on remand who attacked police and made petrol bombs. The Economist, "Gaming with Joshua Wong," 22 May 2020 Facing increasingly angry front-line protesters who threw petrol bombs and bricks and in some cases wielded metal bars and tools, officers became more aggressive in dispersal operations. Iain Marlow,, "Hong Kong Watchdog Defends Police Actions, Chides Protesters," 20 May 2020 Facing increasingly angry frontline protesters who threw petrol bombs and bricks and in some cases wielded metal bars and tools, officers became more aggressive in dispersal operations. Time, "Hong Kong’s Police Watchdog Largely Exonerates Officers and Blames Protesters," 15 May 2020

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

1895, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for petrol

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.

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Time Traveler for petrol

Time Traveler

The first known use of petrol was in 1895

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Statistics for petrol

Last Updated

17 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Petrol.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on petrol

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with petrol

Nglish: Translation of petrol for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of petrol for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about petrol

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