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 In the past week, petrol stations have shut down in various parts of the country because of shortages, according to media reports. Reuters, CNN, 18 Aug. 2022 After achieving the 10% blending target earlier, the government is now aiming at 20% blending of petrol with ethanol by 2025-26. Niharika Sharma, Quartz, 5 Aug. 2022 Sri Lanka consumes about 5,000 tons of diesel and 3,000 tons of petrol a day just to meet its transport requirements, Lanka IOC chief Manoj Gupta told Reuters. Reuters, CNN, 27 June 2022 In Iceland, Norway, Greece, Denmark, the Netherlands, Monaco and the Central African Republic, the price of petrol tops $9 per gallon. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, 24 June 2022 Compared with six months ago, the price of bread has tripled, the price of rice has tripled, the prices of petrol and diesel have more or less tripled. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 22 July 2022 Sri Lanka has not been receiving fuel shipments in recent weeks, forcing school closures and limiting petrol and diesel for essential services. Lorraine Taylor, Fox News, 15 July 2022 The island of 22 million has nearly run out of useable foreign exchange reserves to import essentials such as food, medicine, petrol and diesel. Reuters, CNN, 29 June 2022 According to RAC Fuel Watch, the cost of filling a 55-litre family car with petrol is up £30 ($36) from last summer, and £42 above 2020. William Shaw,, 23 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

16 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Petrol.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on petrol

Nglish: Translation of petrol for Spanish Speakers

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


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