a chemical substance obtained from petroleum or natural gas, as gasoline, kerosene, or petrolatum.
of or pertaining to petrochemistry or a petrochemical.

1910–15; petro-2 + chemical Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
petrochemical (ˌpɛtrəʊˈkɛmɪkəl)
1.  any substance, such as acetone or ethanol, obtained from petroleum or natural gas
2.  of, concerned with, or obtained from petrochemicals or related to petrochemistry

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1913, formed in Eng. from Gk. petro-, comb. form of petra "rock" + chemical (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
petrochemical   (pět'rō-kěm'ĭ-kəl)  Pronunciation Key 
Any of a large number of chemicals made from petroleum or natural gas. Important petrochemicals include benzene, ammonia, acetylene, and polystyrene. Petrochemicals are used to produce a wide variety of materials, such as plastics, explosives, fertilizers, and synthetic fibers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
petrochemical [(pet-roh-kem-i-kuhl)]

Any material made from substances found in oil or natural gas. Most plastics are petrochemicals.

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
Its petrochemical plant is a sprawling palace of pipes.
The oilmen, for example, said they would invest in petrochemical plants.
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