Meaning of petrol in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpɛtr(ə)l/

See synonyms for petrol

Translate petrol into Spanish


mass nounBritish
  • 1A light fuel oil that is obtained by distilling petroleum and used in internal combustion engines.

    North American term gasoline

    ‘cars had broken down or run out of petrol’
    • ‘Eddie notices a stranger filling up his car with petrol’
    • ‘petrol fumes’
    • ‘The price of petrol, diesel and kerosene has gone up four times since February.’
    • ‘Higher oil prices have added to the cost of petrol, diesel, kerosene and gas as well as transport.’
    • ‘Tar is soluble in fossil fuels like diesel and petrol and oil spill loosens the road surface and potholes begin to form.’
    • ‘Protesters also threw objects such as bottles, sometimes lit with petrol, and rocks.’
    • ‘The engine and generator are missing but when they are replaced they will use diesel and not petrol as fuel.’
    • ‘The octane rating of petrol tells how much a given fuel can be compressed before it spontaneously ignites.’
    • ‘These tiny ships fuelled by high octane petrol, were made of wood and had a top speed of just twelve knots.’
    • ‘Like the rest of Europe, however, prices of unleaded petrol and diesel have soared over the last few months.’
    • ‘LPG, in fact, is stated to be a cleaner fuel than petrol or diesel, as it cannot be adulterated.’
    • ‘The cost of filling up with petrol has fuelled endless controversy. Is petrol in the UK the most expensive in Europe?’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Asda slashed three to four pence per litre off its unleaded petrol and 2p per litre off diesel.’
    • ‘Diesel fuel costing more than petrol makes Britain unique in Europe.’
    • ‘So, motorists hoping that the use of ethanol in petrol will cut their fuel bills are set to be disappointed.’
    • ‘Hybrid cars powered by ethanol and petrol are now outselling traditional petrol-engined vehicles in Brazil.’
    • ‘The global thirst for petrol and other oil products shows no sign of slowing’
    • ‘In Brazil, for example, half of all cars can now take either petrol or ethanol, which is produced from sugar.’
    • ‘Rather than using petrol and benzene as the fuel, these bombs use paraffin-based jet fuel.’
    • ‘For the first time in this segment, Kia will offer customers a choice of petrol and diesel engines.’
    • ‘The Prius runs on electricity and petrol by combining an internal combustion engine with an electric motor.’
    • ‘Alas, I have a shock for Mr Hepworth if he thinks cars and any other vehicles using petrol or diesel will become extinct when the oil runs out.’
  • 2

    (also petrol blue)
    A shade of greenish or greyish blue.

    ‘Harmer sells a range of contemporary pendant lighting, including the Icon glass dome light shades, in colours from petrol blue to cardinal red, priced £109.’
    • ‘The petrol blue salwar kameez she is wearing here cost 3000-the price was only kept below 5000 because he has a team of in-house embroiderers in India.’
    • ‘The wash is equally bright and clean with light petrol notes among the apricot and apple.’
    • ‘Button-down checked shirt, Levi 501s, biker boots or Timberlands, and a petrol blue, zip-fronted, nylon Schott jacket - that was my uniform.’


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘petroleum’): from French pétrole, from medieval Latin petroleum (see petroleum). The sense ‘fuel oil’ dates from the late 19th century, apparently reintroduced from French.