petroleum

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

President Donald Trump is declaring that oil prices are too high and blaming a coalition of countries that control a significant portion of the world’s supply of crude petroleum. Washington Post, "Trump declares oil prices too high, blames OPEC," 14 June 2018 Starting with a base of organic botanical juice (hence the name) without adding any fillers of petroleum or added water, each product is packed with antioxidants and concentrated skin-care benefits. Tynan Sinks, Allure, "The Best Natural and Organic Makeup Brands That Makeup Artists Actually Use," 6 June 2018 However, the United States remains a large net importer of petroleum. Steven Mufson And Damian Paletta, chicagotribune.com, "China offered to buy $70 billion in U.S. products to ward off Trump's tariffs," 5 June 2018 Texas, the nation’s most prolific producer of petroleum, is accepting applications for a $2,500 incentive for buying electric and hybrid vehicles. Chris Tomlinson, Houston Chronicle, "Texas rolls out cash incentives for electric cars," 31 May 2018 But in the same decade that America tackled oil, the deficit outside of petroleum exploded. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "Taking Aim at a Trade Gap? It’s Easy to Miss the Target," 25 Mar. 2018 VP Racing Fuel is a specialty fuel company that buys petroleum products and modifies it to create specialty race fuels and fuel blending products to boost octane, clean fuel systems or stabilize fuel. Rye Druzin, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio racing fuel maker opening retail shops in Mexico," 11 June 2018 The United Nations Security Council, with China’s backing, adopted new sanctions eventually including curbs on selling the regime crude oil and refined petroleum products. Margaret Talev, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump arrives in Singapore ahead of North Korea summit," 10 June 2018 The Trump administration originally called for exploring the Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean for petroleum. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Oil lobby seeks to boost support for offshore drilling despite bipartisan opposition," 7 June 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, from Medieval Latin, from Latin petr- + oleum oil — more at oil

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Statistics for petroleum

Last Updated

4 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 , -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 \

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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