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 Naturally, the famed petrol head’s haul is jampacked with showstoppers. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 26 July 2021 Flying Spur Hybrid combines a 2.9-liter V6 petrol engine with an advanced electric motor to deliver some 536 bhp and 750 Nm of torque. Nargess Banks, Forbes, 6 July 2021 In practice, this would mean the phasing-out of all new cars running on petrol. Washington Post, 14 July 2021 Already, in the last two months, the price of petrol has gone up 36 times. Niharika Sharma, Quartz, 5 July 2021 Things are even more grim in North Carolina, where almost three-quarters of stations are out of petrol, according to Gas Buddy, a company that helps consumers find real-time gas prices. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 14 May 2021 Great boat, but the fuel efficiency was similar to that of a main battle tank – more than half a gallon of petrol per mile. Afdhel Aziz, Forbes, 12 May 2021 Semiconductors, which are produced in Taiwan, China and Korea, were only part of the problem; rubber, petrol chemicals, plastic resin and seat foam have also been difficult to source. Morgan Korn, ABC News, 13 June 2021 The car on test is the 204ps 40 TFSI S Tronic model, the 2.0-liter petrol offering a refined drive, especially in Comfort mode. Nargess Banks, Forbes, 18 June 2021

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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Last Updated

30 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Petrol.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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