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From French (essence de) pétrole, from Medieval Latin petroleum, from Ancient Greek πετρέλαιον (petrélaion, oil of the rock), from πέτρα (pétra, stone, rock)+ ἔλαιον (élaion, olive oil, any oily substance)



petrol (usually uncountable, plural petrols)

  1. (chiefly Australia, New Zealand, Britain) Petroleum, a fluid consisting of a mixture of refined petroleum hydrocarbons, primarily consisting of octane, commonly used as a motor fuel.
    • 1987 October 29, Advertisement, New Scientist, page 31,
      We were the first company to introduce unleaded petrol in Britain, opening our first pump in June 1986.
    • 2000 September 27, Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 106th Congress, Second Session, Volume 146, Part 14, page 19605,
      European oil firms are beginning to follow the example of their American counterparts by adding convenience stores to their pumps: the typical American petrol station now makes some 40 percent of its profits from the sale of non-oil products, such as cigarettes and beer.
    • 2003, S. Srinivasan, Automotive Mechanics, Tata McGraw Hill, India, 2nd Edition, page 149,
      At a crank angle 6° before the TDC, the electric spark ignites the petrol mixture.
    • 2006 February 10, Kenya Gazette, page 354,
      He also admitted that when big trucks bring in petrol, they park along Langata Road [] .
    • 2006 August, Economic Scenario, Pratiyogita Darpan, page 218,
      The increase in rates comes just a few days after India raised petrol prices by 9-2% and diesel prices by 6-6% which boosed inflation expectations in Indian economy.
    • 2008, Robin Stonecash, Joshua Gans, Stephen King, Gregory Mankiw, Principles of Macroeconomics, Cengage Learning Australia, page 122,
      Most major Australian cities receive their petrol from a single refinery.


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