What does petroleum mean?

Definitions for petroleum
pəˈtroʊ li əmpe·tro·le·um

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word petroleum.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. petroleum, crude oil, crude, rock oil, fossil oil, oilnoun

    a dark oil consisting mainly of hydrocarbons


  1. petroleumnoun

    A flammable liquid ranging in color from clear to very dark brown and black, consisting mainly of hydrocarbons, occurring naturally in deposits under earth surface.

  2. Etymology: From petroleum, from petra + oleum.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Petrol, Petroleumnoun

    Petrol or petroleum is a liquid bitumen, black, floating on the water of springs. John Woodward

    Etymology: petrole, Fr.


  1. Petroleum

    Petroleum, also known as crude oil, or simply oil, is a naturally occurring yellowish-black liquid mixture of mainly hydrocarbons, and is found in geological formations. The name petroleum covers both naturally occurring unprocessed crude oil and petroleum products that consist of refined crude oil. A fossil fuel, petroleum is formed when large quantities of dead organisms, mostly zooplankton and algae, are buried underneath sedimentary rock and subjected to both prolonged heat and pressure. Petroleum is primarily recovered by oil drilling. Drilling is carried out after studies of structural geology, sedimentary basin analysis, and reservoir characterisation. Recent developments in technologies have also led to exploitation of other unconventional reserves such as oil sands and oil shale. Once extracted, oil is refined and separated, most easily by distillation, into innumerable products for direct use or use in manufacturing. Products include fuels such as gasoline (petrol), diesel, kerosene and jet fuel; asphalt and lubricants; chemical reagents used to make plastics; solvents, textiles, refrigerants, paint, synthetic rubber, fertilizers, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and thousands of others. Petroleum is used in manufacturing a vast variety of materials essential for modern life, and it is estimated that the world consumes about 100 million barrels (16 million cubic metres) each day. Petroleum production can be extremely profitable and was critical to global economic development in the 20th century, with some countries, so called "oil states", gaining significant economic and international power because of their control of oil production. Petroleum exploitation and use has had significant negative environmental and social consequences. Extraction, refining and burning of petroleum fuels all release large quantities of greenhouse gases, so petroleum is one of the major contributors to climate change. Other negative environmental effects include oil spills, and air and water pollution. Some of these effects have direct and indirect health consequences for humans. Oil has also been a source of conflict, leading to both state-led-wars and other conflicts. Production of petroleum is estimated to reach peak oil before 2035 as global economies lower dependencies on petroleum as part of climate change mitigation and a transition towards renewable energy and electrification.


  1. petroleum

    Petroleum is a naturally-occurring, flammable liquid found beneath the Earth's surface, composed extensively of hydrocarbons and other organic compounds. This fossil fuel is extracted through drilling and refined into numerous products, the most popular being gasoline. It is used widely in industries, driving economies worldwide, and is also a crucial source of energy. However, it is a non-renewable resource with a significant environmental impact.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Petroleumnoun

    rock oil, mineral oil, or natural oil, a dark brown or greenish inflammable liquid, which, at certain points, exists in the upper strata of the earth, from whence it is pumped, or forced by pressure of the gas attending it. It consists of a complex mixture of various hydrocarbons, largely of the methane series, but may vary much in appearance, composition, and properties. It is refined by distillation, and the products include kerosene, benzine, gasoline, paraffin, etc

  2. Etymology: [NL., fr. L. petra a rock + oleum oil: cf. F. ptrole. Cf. Petrify, and Oil.]


  1. Petroleum

    Petroleum is a naturally occurring flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. The name Petroleum covers both naturally occurring unprocessed crude oils and petroleum products that are made up of refined crude oil. A fossil fuel, it is formed when large quantities of dead organisms, usually zooplankton and algae, are buried underneath sedimentary rock and undergo intense heat and pressure. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling. This comes after the studies of structural geology, sedimentary basin analysis, reservoir characterization. It is refined and separated, most easily by boiling point, into a large number of consumer products, from petrol and kerosene to asphalt and chemical reagents used to make plastics and pharmaceuticals. Petroleum is used in manufacturing a wide variety of materials, and it is estimated that the world consumes about 90 million barrels each day.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Petroleum

    pē-trō′lē-um, n. a liquid inflammable substance issuing or pumped up from the earth in various parts of the world.—ns. Pet′rol, a spirit obtained from petroleum; Petroleur (pā-tro-lār′), one of those Parisians who, with the help of petroleum, set fire to many of the public buildings of Paris in May 1871: an incendiary:—fem. Petroleuse′.—adj. Petrolif′erous, yielding petroleum. [L. petra, rock, oleum, oil.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Petroleum

    is the common name of a series of rock oils found in large quantities in the United States and Canada, near Rangoon, and in the neighbourhood of the Caspian Sea. The oil issues from the rocks, or is drawn from subterranean reservoirs, where its presence is supposed to result from natural distillation of vegetable and animal substances, and after refining, put in the market as benzoline, paraffin, and lubricating oil. It is extensively used in the industries, and has been applied as fuel to steamships. Pétroleuse

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Petroleum

    Naturally occurring complex liquid hydrocarbons which, after distillation, yield combustible fuels, petrochemicals, and lubricants.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. petroleum

    Called also rock, mineral, or coal, oil. A natural oil widely distributed over the globe, consisting of carbon and hydrogen, in the proportion of about 88 and 12 per cent. It burns fiercely with a thick black smoke; and attempts, not yet successful, have been made to adapt it as a fuel for steamers.

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How to say petroleum in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of petroleum in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of petroleum in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of petroleum in a Sentence

  1. Reza Mostafavi Tabatabaei:

    Qatar Petroleum needs the support of Iran now more than any time before. I don't believe it would be possible for Qatar Petroleum to increase production without the cooperation with Iran, if in the long term the( political) situation stayed same as now, also, major( oil) companies may be asked to choose between working in Qatar Petroleum or Saudi/UAE and Egypt, otherwise there be sanctions against them. That’s why I don’t think that developing this project by Qatar Petroleum now will be as easy as before, politically not financially.

  2. Chika Onuegbu:

    As Nigeria continues to dither over the Petroleum Industry Bill, which has been in the Nigerian National Assembly since 2009 as aforementioned, Ghana her neighbour (who just joined the Petroleum Club not too long ago) on August 4 2016 passed its own petroleum bill, i.e. the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Bill, 2016 into law in a bid to attract investments. Chika Onuegbu in his 2016 paper titled The Challenges and Implications of a Post PIB Nigeria for the Oil and Gas Workers

  3. Flavio Volpe:

    So I think it’s important we get some technical advice from the experts at (the U.S. Trade Representative) on how exactly we’re going to do that… A lot of plastics are petroleum-based. So what’s the methodology there — are we tracing back to bitumen, are we tracing back to sweet crude? “When you say you’re going back to the base raw materials that’s what you’re talking about. So when did the dinosaurs die? And where did they die? And can we claim ownership of that?

  4. Antony Blinken:

    The United States is designating 15 individuals and entities that engaged in the illicit sales and shipment of Iranian petroleum, petroleum products, and petrochemical products. These entities, located in Iran, Vietnam, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates( UAE), and Hong Kong, have supported Iranian energy trade generating millions of dollars' worth of illicit revenue.

  5. Wang Yi:

    I'm very happy to note the government of China has instructed the concerned petroleum export authority to be in touch and discuss issues related with the long-term trade of petroleum products with Nepal.

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"petroleum." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 8 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/petroleum>.

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