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 Cye grew up on oilfields, and went on to study petroleum engineering and work for major drillers like Chevron and EOG Resources. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, "Oil and gas companies might never recover from Covid-19," 27 June 2020 The bloc has imposed sanctions on top Turkish petroleum company officials over drilling in Cypriot waters. Washington Post, "EU to help resolve Cyprus-Turkey maritime border wrangle," 25 June 2020 In particular, their BLS study found high employer demand for software developers, petroleum engineers and data scientists as well as in skilled trades. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Trump says visa halt could open up 500,000 jobs for Americans. Really?," 23 June 2020 Still, the post-virus outlook for petroleum consumption isn’t exactly rosy. Sheela Tobben, Bloomberg.com, "Texas Oil-Export Terminals Start Up Even as Shipments Tumble," 15 June 2020 Through the 1970s and 1980s, the senior Ambani expanded the business into producing chemical precursors for the textiles and, eventually, into petroleum. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "11 deals for $15 billion in 10 weeks: Why India’s Jio Platforms is on an investment spree," 20 June 2020 New Mexico Santa Fe: High-stakes initiatives to improve lagging public schools are on the financial chopping block in the state as economic turmoil from the coronavirus undermines New Mexico’s most significant commodity – petroleum. USA TODAY, "State fair upheaval, sewage testing, new mask rules: News from around our 50 states," 20 June 2020 More automobile trips of any sort will reduce the global oversupply of gasoline, said Patrick De Hann, Gas Buddy’s head of petroleum analysis. Randy Diamond, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio gas prices are creeping up," 17 June 2020 If the coronavirus recovery continues at the current pace, boosting travel, gas prices could be near 2019 levels by Labor Day, said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gas prices inching higher but probably won't reach year-ago highs," 15 June 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about petroleum

Time Traveler for petroleum

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for petroleum

Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Petroleum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/petroleum. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up petroleum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!