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 Before any new oil or gas leases move forward, a petroleum company has to determine that the venture is economically viable and develop a plan that passes additional environmental muster. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "Trump administration OKs leasing for new oil drilling in California — again," 12 Dec. 2019 In 2014, after Ostadhassan earned his doctorate in petroleum engineering, the couple married. CNN, "A shadowy federal program is ensnaring thousands of Muslim immigrants," 3 Oct. 2019 The popular prime minister had nationalized the country’s oil industry, wresting control of it from British petroleum companies. Pete Gelling, Quartz, "In the crisis with Iran, the US started it—twice," 21 Sep. 2019 Even petroleum companies such as Shell and Chevron are looking for ways to turn renewable power into fuels. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Can the world make the chemicals it needs without oil?," 19 Sep. 2019 One of those critics, former chairman of Cnooc and Sinopec—two of China’s largest petroleum companies—was in the room on Thursday. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "China Is the World’s Biggest Coal User. Can It Break the Habit?," 5 Sep. 2019 Hoping to combat health and safety problems posed by the fossil fuels industry, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office has drafted sweeping proposals that would restrict the activities of petroleum companies citywide. oregonlive.com, "Portland mayor’s office considers new regulations on fossil fuels," 28 Aug. 2019 In sub-Saharan Africa, the role of transportation is even more dramatic, with 75 percent of emissions coming from petroleum products and a tiny eight percent produced by coal. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Evaluating the risks of Africans opting for coal power," 9 Dec. 2019 The Hansens were executives with Kyani, which markets nutritional, health and wellness products, as well as with petroleum products distributor Conrad & Bischoff and KJ’s Super Stores. James Macpherson, Twin Cities, "South Dakota airplane crash kills 9 in extended family," 2 Dec. 2019

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 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Petroleum.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/petroleum. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for petroleum

petroleum

noun
How to pronounce petroleum (audio)

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

Comments on petroleum

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