or ker·o·sine

[ ker-uh-seen, kar-, ker-uh-seen, kar- ]
/ ˈkɛr əˌsin, ˈkær-, ˌkɛr əˈsin, ˌkær- /


a mixture of liquid hydrocarbons obtained by distilling petroleum, bituminous shale, or the like, and widely used as a fuel, cleaning solvent, etc.


using or fueled by kerosene: a kerosene lamp.

Origin of kerosene

1852; irregular < Greek kērós wax + -ene; formerly trademark Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for kerosene

British Dictionary definitions for kerosene



/ (ˈkɛrəˌsiːn) /


Also called: paraffin a liquid mixture consisting mainly of alkane hydrocarbons with boiling points in the range 150°–300°C, used as an aircraft fuel, in domestic heaters, and as a solvent
the general name for paraffin as a fuel for jet aircraft

Word Origin for kerosene

C19: from Greek kēros wax + -ene

usage for kerosene

The spelling kerosine is now the preferred form in technical and industrial usage
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

Scientific definitions for kerosene

[ kĕrə-sēn′ ]

A thin, light-colored oil that is a mixture of hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. The hydrocarbons in kerosene contain between 11 and 12 carbon atoms. Kerosene is used as a fuel in lamps, home heaters and furnaces, and jet engines.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.