• synonyms


[pe-truh l]
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  1. British. gasoline.
  2. Archaic. petroleum.
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verb (used with object), pet·rolled, pet·rol·ling.
  1. British. to clean with gasoline.
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Origin of petrol

1590–1600; < Middle French petrole < Medieval Latin petroleum petroleum


  1. petrology.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for petrol


  1. any one of various volatile flammable liquid mixtures of hydrocarbons, mainly hexane, heptane, and octane, obtained from petroleum and used as a solvent and a fuel for internal-combustion engines. Usually petrol also contains additives such as antiknock compounds and corrosion inhibitorsUS and Canadian name: gasoline
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Word Origin

C16: via French from Medieval Latin petroleum


abbreviation for
  1. petrology
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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

Word Origin and History for petrol


"gasoline," 1895, from French pétrol (1892); earlier used (1580s) in reference to the unrefined substance, from Middle French petrole "petroleum," from Old French (13c.), from Medieval Latin petroleum (see petroleum).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper