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 The report says the petroleum ministry requested 251 barrels of diesel to be delivered to military and militia forces in Upper Nile state in 2014 and 2015. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Watchdog says global oil consortium hurting South Sudan," 19 Sep. 2019 Egypt’s petroleum ministry referred The Wall Street Journal to the government’s Foreign Press Center, which didn’t respond to an interview request. Jared Malsin, WSJ, "In Egypt’s Vision of Energy Independence, Egyptians Pay More," 27 Aug. 2018 New Minister Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta last month created a new mining and petroleum ministry after stripping the portfolios away from the Energy Ministry, and nominated John Munyes as the new cabinet secretary. Bloomberg.com, "Kenya Halves Share of Oil Income for Communities in Proposed Law," 8 Feb. 2018 Algeria—which has the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in Africa, and which gets sixty per cent of its revenues from petroleum products—has been devastated. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Can the Middle East Recover from the Coronavirus and Collapsing Oil Prices?," 8 May 2020 The price of the petroleum product slumped as much as 10% on Thursday in Europe. Jack Wittels, Bloomberg.com, "Jet Fuel Demand Battered as Trump Ban Deepens Market Gloom," 29 Apr. 2020 Oil prices have plunged amid a worldwide pandemic that has vaporized demand for petroleum products. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Optimistic’ oil forecast calls for Alaska to run out of savings in June 2021," 23 Apr. 2020 The surge in storage on land, meanwhile, is extending to other refined petroleum products as demand for aviation fuel, gasoline and diesel collapses. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Oil Traders Are Scrambling to Book Tankers for Storage," 21 Apr. 2020 China China National Offshore Oil (CNOOC) has provided 4,900 tons of petroleum products to regions in China most hit by the coronavirus. Fortune, "How Global 500 companies are utilizing their resources and expertise during the coronavirus pandemic," 13 Apr. 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.

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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

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Petroleum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/petroleum. Accessed 2 Jun. 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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