re·​fu·​el | \ (ˌ)rē-ˈfyü(-ə)l How to pronounce refuel (audio) \
refueled; refueling; refuels

Definition of refuel

transitive verb

: to provide with additional fuel

intransitive verb

: to take on additional fuel

Examples of refuel in a Sentence

The crew refueled the airplane. The airplane landed to refuel.
Recent Examples on the Web Large gatherings over the holidays could refuel a pandemic that has led to 4,872 deaths in Minnesota and 399,311 infections with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, "COVID-19 restrictions still needed amid pandemic progress in Minnesota," 21 Dec. 2020 But once servicers have entered the chat, companies will instead be able to move spacecraft around, give them new life, inspect them, refuel them, or upgrade them. Sarah Scoles, Wired, "There Are No Real Rules for Repairing Satellites in Space—Yet," 10 Dec. 2020 That means the two bombers would have had to refuel at least three times during the trip, though four times is more likely due to the crossing of the Atlantic. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "In a Show of Force, American B-52s Just Flew Over the Middle East to Deter Iran," 11 Dec. 2020 The ship will either need to have the full round trip worth of supplies or be able to refuel and restock using some kind of technology to recycle or harvest resources from what Mars has available. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Elon Musk Swears He'll Send Humans to Mars by 2026. That Seems Impossible.," 3 Dec. 2020 Travel halfway around the world, solo, from England to Nepal, stopping to refuel in the great cities of Rome, Cairo, Baghdad and Delhi. Michael O’donnell, WSJ, "‘The Moth and the Mountain’ Review: The Amateur’s Ascent," 13 Nov. 2020 Go for simple carbohydrates, which help quickly refuel your muscles, and protein, which helps rebuild your muscles, says Raffals. Jenny Mccoy, Glamour, "How Long Should You Wait to Workout After Eating?," 19 Nov. 2020 Future explorers may be able to use lunar water not only to quench their own thirst but to refuel their rockets. Author: Ben Guarino, Joel Achenbach, Anchorage Daily News, "Pair of studies confirm there is water on the moon," 26 Oct. 2020 And from a distance, these migrants may also help refuel the struggles that spurred their departure in the first place. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Countries are competing for skilled migrants fleeing crackdowns in Hong Kong and Belarus," 15 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'refuel.' 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 refuel

1811, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about refuel

Time Traveler for refuel

Time Traveler

The first known use of refuel was in 1811

See more words from the same year

Statistics for refuel

Last Updated

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Refuel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for refuel


How to pronounce refuel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of refuel

: to add fuel to (an airplane, a truck, etc.)


re·​fu·​el | \ ˌrē-ˈfyü-əl How to pronounce refuel (audio) \
refueled; refueling

Kids Definition of refuel

: to provide with or take on more fuel

More from Merriam-Webster on refuel

Nglish: Translation of refuel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refuel for Arabic Speakers

Comments on refuel

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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