I. fu ‧ el 1 S3 W2 /ˈfjuːəl/ BrE AmE noun
[ Date: 1100-1200 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: fouaille , from feu 'fire' , from Latin focus ; ⇨ ↑ focus 1 ]
[uncountable and countable] a substance such as coal, gas, or oil that can be burned to produce heat or energy:
Coal is one of the cheapest fuels.
⇨ add fuel to the fire/flames at ↑ add (9)
• • •
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + fuel
▪ a fossil fuel (=a fuel such as coal or oil, produced by the gradual decaying of plants and animals)
Global warming may be caused by burning fossil fuels.
▪ nuclear fuel
What do we do with the spent nuclear fuel?
▪ solid fuel (=a solid substance, such as coal, that is used as a fuel)
The number of homes using solid fuel for heating has decreased.
▪ domestic/household fuel (=used in a house)
There has been a sharp rise in domestic fuel costs.
▪ smokeless fuel (=that burns without producing smoke)
The government is trying to encourage the use of environmentally-friendly smokeless fuels.
▪ unleaded fuel (=that does not contain lead)
Modern cars run on unleaded fuel.
▪ a green fuel (=a fuel that harms the environment as little as possible)
Are green fuels, like Biodiesel, really the solution to our fuel crisis?
▪ a clean fuel (=fuel that does not harm the environment)
The proposal is to cut tax on cars that run on clean fuel.
▪ aviation fuel (=used used by planes)
high-octane aviation fuel
▪ use fuel
People need to learn how to use fuel more efficiently.
▪ run on fuel (=use fuel as the source of power)
Will this engine run on unleaded fuel?
▪ run out of fuel (=use all the fuel available and have none left)
The ship ran out of fuel and drifted helplessly.
▪ fill up with fuel (=put fuel in a vehicle's fuel tank)
Before leaving, I filled up with fuel at the local petrol station.
▪ save fuel
You can save fuel by not driving too fast.
▪ waste fuel
The booklet gives helpful tips on how to avoid wasting fuel.
■ fuel + NOUN
▪ fuel costs/prices
The increase in fuel costs is severely affecting pensioners.
▪ a fuel bill
Insulating your house will cut your fuel bill.
▪ a fuel tank (=a container for storing fuel)
The fuel tank holds 14 gallons of petrol.
▪ a fuel gauge (=an instrument for measuring fuel)
I noticed the fuel gauge was on empty so I pulled into the nearest gas station.
▪ a fuel pump (=a machine that forces fuel into an engine)
The car's fuel pump was leaking.
▪ fuel consumption (=amount used)
Fuel consumption averages 54 miles per gallon.
▪ fuel economy/efficiency (=how well a vehicle uses fuel, without wasting any)
Greater engine efficiency has led to improved fuel economy.
▪ something is running low on fuel (=it does not have much fuel left)
The plane was running low on fuel.
II. fuel 2 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle fuelled , present participle fuelling British English , fueled , fueling American English )
1 . [transitive] to make something, especially something bad, increase or become stronger SYN provoke :
His words fuelled her anger still more.
fuel speculation/rumours/controversy etc
Progress was slow, fueling concerns that the stadium would not be finished on time.
2 . ( also fuel up ) [intransitive and transitive] if you fuel a vehicle, or if it fuels up, fuel is put into it SYN fill up :
We’d better fuel up at the next town.
The van was fuelled and waiting in the basement car park.