Meaning of “fuel” in the English Dictionary

"fuel" in British English

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fuelnoun

uk /ˈfjuː.əl/ us /ˈfjuː.əl/

B1 [ C or U ] a substance that is used to provide heat or power, usually by being burned:

Wood, coal, oil, petrol, and gas are all different kinds of fuel.
Plutonium is a fuel used to produce nuclear energy.
nuclear fuel
unleaded fuel
The new exhaust system, it is claimed, will lower fuel consumption.

[ U ] anything that keeps people's ideas or feelings active, or makes them stronger:

Reports in today's newspapers have added fuel to the controversy (= made it worse).

More examples

  • Today's vehicles use two kinds of fuel - petrol and diesel.
  • The new tax will put 8% on fuel prices.
  • Lead is added to fuel to make car engines run more smoothly.
  • The car blew up when flames reached its fuel tank.
  • We'll have to stop for fuel on the way to the airport.

fuelverb [ T ]

uk /ˈfjuː.əl/ us /ˈfjuː.əl/ -ll- or US usually -l-

to supply a system with a substance that can be burned to provide heat or power:

Our heating is fuelled by gas.
We have a gas-fuelled heating system.
petrol/hydrogen-fuelled cars

Something that fuels a feeling or a type of behaviour increases it or makes it stronger:

The rapid promotion of the director's son has itself fuelled resentment within the company.
The president's speech fuelled speculation that she is about to resign.

More examples

  • A huge amount of hydrogen is needed to fuel to rocket.
  • The rumours have been fuelled by speculation in the press.
  • The diesel in this tank fuels both of the ship's motors.
  • The engine had been converted so that it could be fuelled by unleaded petrol.
  • Her ambition was fuelled by her older sister's achievements.

(Definition of “fuel” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"fuel" in American English

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fuelnoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈfju·əl, fjul/

a substance such as oil or gas that is used to provide heat or power, usually by being burned

fuelverb [ T ]

us /ˈfju·əl, fjul/

to provide power to something:

The heating system is fueled by natural gas.

(Definition of “fuel” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"fuel" in Business English

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fuelnoun

uk /ˈfjuːəl/ us

[ C or U ] NATURAL RESOURCES a substance which is used to provide heat or power, usually by being burned:

oil, gas and other kinds of fuel
nuclear fuel
fossil fuels
fuel costs/prices Domestic fuel costs have risen sharply over the past few months.
The new exhaust system, it is claimed, will lower fuel consumption.

[ U ] anything that keeps people's ideas or feelings active, or makes them stronger:

The news reports were designed to add fuel to the debate over interest rates.

fuelverb [ T ]

uk /ˈfjuːəl/ us -ll-, US usually -l-

to supply a system with a substance that can be burned to provide heat or power:

fuelled by sth Our heating system is fuelled by gas.
The company is working on the development of methane-fuelled vehicles.

to increase a feeling or a type of behaviour or make it stronger:

The rapid promotion of the director's son has itself fuelled resentment within the company.
The press release fuelled speculation that interest rates were about to rise.

(Definition of “fuel” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)