fossil fuel

noun Energy.
any combustible organic material, as oil, coal, or natural gas, derived from the remains of former life.
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World English Dictionary
fossil fuel
 
n
any naturally occurring carbon or hydrocarbon fuel, such as coal, petroleum, peat, and natural gas, formed by the decomposition of prehistoric organisms

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
fossil fuel  
A hydrocarbon deposit, such as petroleum, coal, or natural gas, derived from the accumulated remains of ancient plants and animals and used as fuel. carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases generated by burning fossil fuels are considered to be one of the principal causes of global warming.
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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

fossil fuels definition


Coal, petroleum, and natural gas.

Note: All of these fuels were formed from the remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago.
Note: All fossil fuels produce carbon dioxide when burned. (See greenhouse effect.)
Note: Burning fossil fuels is a main cause of air pollution.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The consequences of burning fossil fuels are already apparent.
Governments are trying to accelerate the shift away from fossil fuels.
It will continue to expand as major manufacturers develop a range of high-speed
  trains using technology based on non-fossil fuels.
Developing nations are going gangbusters using fossil fuels, so they are
  eclipsing any savings that the rich nations are making.
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