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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Collins
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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Discovering an economical and environmentally cleaner alternative to fossil
  fuel.
Most of the electricity that powers the world's refrigerators is generated by
  burning fossil fuel.
Maybe the fossil fuel industry is simply too powerful.
Coal is a fossil fuel, and a sedimentary rock that is formed by geological
  action over millions of years.
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