petroleum

noun
pe·​tro·​leum | \ pə-ˈtrō-lē-əm How to pronounce petroleum (audio) , -ˈtrōl-yəm\

Definition of petroleum

: 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

Examples of petroleum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Crabb runs a small petroleum company, and the Irish Hills area of south Michigan is known for its oil fields. John Carlisle, Freep.com, "LAND OF THE LOST Irish Hills tourist stop owner aims to restore dinosaur park," 6 June 2019 The nation's commercial stockpiles of crude oil spiked by 6.8 million barrels last week and overall petroleum inventories skyrocketed by more than 22 million barrels as oil markets turn increasingly bearish. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Crude inventories spike again as oil slumps toward $50," 5 June 2019 The site has airtight doors and is a constant 52 degrees Fahrenheit with 90 percent humidity, said Beckley, who graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a petroleum engineering degree. Mario Sanelli, The Denver Post, "Glenwood Springs joins Aspen as only Colorado cities completely powered by renewable energy," 3 June 2019 Higher gas prices are mostly due to higher crude oil prices, which Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, said are being boosted because of production cuts by OPEC nations. Samantha Bomkamp, chicagotribune.com, "Gas prices are going to jump 33 cents a gallon this summer, but will fall short of record highs," 10 Apr. 2018 The 1973 oil crisis raised the price of an oil barrel 70 percent, forcing Hasbro to change the way Joe—a petroleum product—was molded. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "Yo, Joe: How a 12-Inch Soldier Doll Became a Toy Legend," 9 Apr. 2019 Signs along the railing point out sights such as the big facilities for petroleum and cement, the military presence (U.S. Naval Ship Waters is stationed there) and the Atlantic Ocean to the far right. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Exploration Tower: Looking at ships, history, more," 22 Mar. 2018 Since those are typically made from natural gas or petroleum derivatives, their price will depend on fossil fuel costs. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Bikes, bowling balls, and the delicate balancing act that is modern recycling," 31 Dec. 2018 Galvin’s husband is an executive with a petroleum company. Becky Bohrer, The Seattle Times, "Alaska voters to decide primaries for governor, US House," 20 Aug. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for petroleum

Middle English, "mineral oil," borrowed from Medieval Latin, "mineral oil, crude oil," from Latin petra "rock" (borrowed from Greek pétra) + oleum "oil" — more at petro-, oil entry 1

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Statistics for petroleum

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for petroleum

The first known use of petroleum was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for petroleum

petroleum

noun

English Language Learners Definition of petroleum

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

petroleum

noun
pe·​tro·​leum | \ pə-ˈtrō-lē-əm How to pronounce petroleum (audio) , -ˈtrōl-yəm\

Kids Definition of petroleum

: 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

petroleum

noun
pe·​tro·​leum | \ pə-ˈtrō-lē-əm, -ˈtrōl-yəm How to pronounce petroleum (audio) \

Medical Definition of petroleum

: 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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More from Merriam-Webster on petroleum

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with petroleum

Spanish Central: Translation of petroleum

Nglish: Translation of petroleum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of petroleum for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about petroleum

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