petroleum

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noun pe·tro·leum \pə-ˈtrō-lē-əm, -ˈtrōl-yəm\

Definition of petroleum

  1. :  an oily flammable bituminous liquid that may vary from almost colorless to black, occurs in many places in the upper strata of the earth, is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons with small amounts of other substances, and is prepared for use as gasoline, naphtha, or other products by various refining processes

Origin and Etymology of petroleum

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Latin petr- + oleum oil — more at oil


First Known Use: 15th century


PETROLEUM Defined for English Language Learners

petroleum

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noun pe·tro·leum \pə-ˈtrō-lē-əm, -ˈtrōl-yəm\

Definition of petroleum for English Language Learners

  • : a kind of oil that comes from below the ground and that is the source of gasoline and other products


PETROLEUM Defined for Kids

petroleum

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noun pe·tro·leum \pə-ˈtrō-lē-əm, -ˈtrōl-yəm\

Definition of petroleum for Students

  1. :  a raw oil that is obtained from wells drilled in the ground and that is the source of gasoline, kerosene, and other oils used for fuel


Medical Dictionary

petroleum

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noun pe·tro·leum \pə-ˈtrō-lē-əm, -ˈtrōl-yəm\

Medical Definition of petroleum

  1. :  an oily flammable bituminous liquid that may vary from almost colorless to black, occurs in many places in the upper strata of the earth, is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons with small amounts of other substances, and is prepared for use as gasoline, naphtha, or other products by various refining processes



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