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 HollyFrontier, an independent petroleum refiner and marketer, produces gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and other specialty products at refineries in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Utah. Paul O'donnell, Dallas News, "Dallas-based HollyFrontier buys West Coast refinery in deal valued at $500 million," 5 May 2021 The line transports 180,000 barrels per day of petroleum diluent. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "DNR says Enbridge violated law when it waited more than a year to report 2019 spill near Fort Atkinson," 3 May 2021 Historically, shareholders have liked petroleum producers because of their reliable dividends funded by international portfolios of high-risk, high-return oil and gas exploration projects that could ride out price fluctuations. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, "Oil’s Rebound Greases the Way for Energy Giants’ Green Pitch," 29 Apr. 2021 Unlike the twin oil shocks of the 1970s, petroleum today is in abundant supply. Paul A. Eisenstein, NBC News, "Shortage of delivery drivers means some gas station pumps could run dry," 28 Apr. 2021 Courtenay also said zero-carbon synthetic petroleum substitutes are becoming a reality. Jacob Wolinsky, Forbes, "Here Is Why Odey Is Incredibly Bullish On Luxury Automaker Aston Martin," 26 Apr. 2021 But instead of transforming these hard-to-recycle products back into useful plastics, the new technique reduces the plastics back down to the petroleum oil used to make them in the first place, reports Molly Taft for Gizmodo. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "New Chemical Process Turns Single-Use Plastics Into Fuels," 26 Apr. 2021 Since taking office, Newsom has faced pressure from influential environmental groups to ban new oil and gas drilling, and completely phase out fossil fuel extraction in California, one of the nation’s top petroleum-producing states. Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times, "Newsom bans new California fracking permits starting in 2024," 23 Apr. 2021 The failures of president Nicolás Maduro’s corrupt, socialist petroleum state have been well documented. Steve H. Hanke, National Review, "Hanke’s 2020 Misery Index: Who’s Miserable and Who’s Happy?," 14 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for petroleum

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for petroleum

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Petroleum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/petroleum. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of petroleum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of petroleum for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about petroleum

Comments on petroleum

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