follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

kerosene

[ker-uh-seen, kar-, ker-uh-seen, kar-] /ˈkɛr əˌsin, ˈkær-, ˌkɛr əˈsin, ˌkær-/
noun
1.
a mixture of liquid hydrocarbons obtained by distilling petroleum, bituminous shale, or the like, and widely used as a fuel, cleaning solvent, etc.
adjective
2.
using or fueled by kerosene:
a kerosene lamp.
Also, kerosine.
Origin
1852
1852; irregular < Greek kērós wax + -ene; formerly trademark
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for kerosene
  • kerosene is an oil used as a fuel for lamps, as well as heating and cooking.
  • And then there's the fact algal kerosene still costs more than the stuff refined from petroleum.
  • Ask a developer of off-grid lighting about a solar lantern and he'll tell you about a kerosene tragedy.
  • The initial thrust is provided by the nine-engine cluster, fuelled by kerosene and liquid oxygen.
  • Brides with a yen for kerosene lamps or kayaks can now register their wishes in the latest entry into the gift registry business.
  • Soap, axe-heads and kerosene are all much more expensive in remote hamlets than in the big cities.
  • Cozy in its remote location, the lodge's electricity-free cabins are lit with kerosene lanterns.
  • The heavy lifting is done by the nine-engine cluster, fuelled by kerosene and liquid oxygen.
  • The only light in view is that of the kerosene lamp by my side and bright stars.
  • The main danger with swallowing kerosene is accidentally swallowing it into your lungs.
British Dictionary definitions for kerosene

kerosene

/ˈkɛrəˌsiːn/
noun
1.
Also called paraffin. a liquid mixture consisting mainly of alkane hydrocarbons with boiling points in the range 150°–300°C, used as an aircraft fuel, in domestic heaters, and as a solvent
2.
the general name for paraffin as a fuel for jet aircraft
Usage note
The spelling kerosine is now the preferred form in technical and industrial usage
Word Origin
C19: from Greek kēros wax + -ene
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for kerosene
n.

1852, coined irregularly by Canadian geologist Abraham Gesner (1797-1864), who discovered how to distill it c.1846, from Greek keros "wax" + chemical suffix -ene. So called because it contains paraffin (hence the British English name, paraffin oil).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
kerosene in Science
kerosene
  (kěr'ə-sēn')   
A thin, light-colored oil that is a mixture of hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. The hydrocarbons in kerosene contain between 11 and 12 carbon atoms. Kerosene is used as a fuel in lamps, home heaters and furnaces, and jet engines.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for kerosene

12
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with kerosene

Nearby words for kerosene