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fuel

[fyoo-uh l] /ˈfyu əl/
noun
1.
combustible matter used to maintain fire, as coal, wood, oil, or gas, in order to create heat or power.
2.
something that gives nourishment; food.
3.
an energy source for engines, power plants, or reactors:
Kerosene is used as jet engine fuel.
4.
something that sustains or encourages; stimulant:
Our discussion provided him with fuel for debate.
verb (used with object), fueled, fueling or (especially British) fuelled, fuelling.
5.
to supply with fuel.
verb (used without object), fueled, fueling or (especially British) fuelled, fuelling.
6.
to obtain or replenish fuel.
Origin of fuel
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English fuel(le), feuel < Old French feuaile < Vulgar Latin *focālia, neuter plural of *focālis of the hearth, fuel. See focus, -al1
Related forms
fueler; (especially British) fueller, noun
defuel, verb (used with object), defueled, defueling or (especially British) defuelled, defuelling.
nonfuel, adjective
unfueled; (especially British) unfuelled, adjective
well-fueled; (especially British) well-fuelled, adjective
Synonyms
4. ammunition, sustenance, impetus, stimulus.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fuel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yates gathered some fuel, and managed to coax the dying embers into a blaze.

  • fuel consumption is a prime factor in the production of engine power.

    Flying Machines W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
  • Every once in a while women threw armfuls of fuel on the blaze.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • The fuel for the mission house is brought from the South by the steamer.

    The Long Labrador Trail Dillon Wallace
  • The fuel must be power-charged to safely handle the weight and time quotients.

    The Big Tomorrow Paul Lohrman
British Dictionary definitions for fuel

fuel

/fjʊəl/
noun
1.
any substance burned as a source of heat or power, such as coal or petrol
2.
  1. the material, containing a fissile substance, such as uranium-235, that produces energy in a nuclear reactor
  2. a substance that releases energy in a fusion reactor
3.
something that nourishes or builds up emotion, action, etc
verb fuels, fuelling, fuelled (US) fuels, fueling, fueled
4.
to supply with or receive fuel
Derived Forms
fueller, (US) fueler, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French feuaile, from feu fire, ultimately from Latin focus fireplace, hearth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fuel
n.

early 14c., from Old French foaile "bundle of firewood," from Vulgar Latin legal term *focalia "right to demand material for making fire," neuter plural of Latin focalis "pertaining to a hearth," from focus "hearth" (see focus). Figurative use from 1570s.

v.

1590s, from fuel (n.). Related: Fueled; fueling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fuel in Science
fuel
  (fy'əl)   
A substance that produces useful energy when it undergoes a chemical or nuclear reaction. Fuel such as coal, wood, oil, or gas provides energy when burned. Compounds in the body such as glucose are broken down into simpler compounds to provide energy for metabolic processes. Some radioactive substances, such as plutonium and tritium, provide energy by undergoing nuclear fission or fusion.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with fuel
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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