1590–1600; < Middle French petrole < Medieval Latin petroleum petroleum Unabridged

petrol. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
petrol (ˈpɛtrəl)
US and Canadian name: gasoline any one of various volatile flammable liquid mixtures of hydrocarbons, mainly hexane, heptane, and octane, obtained from petroleum and used as a solvent and a fuel for internal-combustion engines. Usually petrol also contains additives such as antiknock compounds and corrosion inhibitors
[C16: via French from Medieval Latin petroleum]

abbreviation for

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1895, "gasoline," from Fr. pétrol (1892); earlier used (1585) in ref. to the unrefined substance, from M.Fr. petrole "petroleum," from O.Fr. (13c.), from M.L. petroleum (see petroleum).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
On a petrol-sipping motorcycle, you're always outside.
Anything over that and the petrol expands, meaning you get even less in your
  tank for the price.
It will achieve nothing useful for your petrol consumption.
Petrol was more convenient, but today is getting scarce.
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