- combustible matter used to maintain fire, as coal, wood, oil, or gas, in order to create heat or power.
- something that gives nourishment; food.
- an energy source for engines, power plants, or reactors: Kerosene is used as jet engine fuel.
- something that sustains or encourages; stimulant: Our discussion provided him with fuel for debate.
- to supply with fuel.
- to obtain or replenish fuel.
Origin of fuel
SynonymsSee more synonyms for fuel on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for fuel
As they passed the runway, bullets shot up from the tall grass, puncturing a fuel tank.‘Argo’ in the Congo: The Ghosts of the Stanleyville Hostage Crisis
November 23, 2014
It was an old, rusted AMC Pacer that was missing, among other things, a fuel door.‘My Crazy Love’ Reveals the Craziest Lies People Tell for Love
November 18, 2014
You use fuel to give you the proper velocity and direction, and then you turn off your fuel tanks and coast there.Neil deGrasse Tyson Breaks Down ‘Interstellar’: Black Holes, Time Dilations, and Massive Waves
November 11, 2014
Early this year a test flight proved that the fuel being used for the rocket would never meet that goal.
Then a critical change was ordered—a fuel using a new formula that was thought to be more stable and deliver more power.
Yates gathered some fuel, and managed to coax the dying embers into a blaze.In the Midst of Alarms
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
The fuel must be power-charged to safely handle the weight and time quotients.The Big Tomorrow
- any substance burned as a source of heat or power, such as coal or petrol
- the material, containing a fissile substance, such as uranium-235, that produces energy in a nuclear reactor
- a substance that releases energy in a fusion reactor
- something that nourishes or builds up emotion, action, etc
- to supply with or receive fuel
Word Origin and History for fuel
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.
1590s, from fuel (n.). Related: Fueled; fueling.
- 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.
Idioms and Phrases with fuel
see add fuel to the fire.