Meaning of FUEL in English

I. ˈfyü]əl, -u̇]əl also -ü]l, chiefly Brit ](ˌ)il noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English fewel, from Old French fouaille, fuaille, from feu fire, from Late Latin focus, from Latin, hearth — more at focus


a. : a material (as coal, coke, gas, oil, peat, wood) used to produce heat or power by burning : something that feeds fire

b. : nutritive material : food : aliment

animals take food to obtain fuel or energy to carry on all their life activities — G.E. & Nettie MacGinitie

c. : any material from which atomic energy can be liberated ; especially : fissionable material used in a nuclear reactor — called also nuclear fuel

2. : a source of sustenance or additional incentive : reinforcement

public opinion … ought to provide the fuel to carry American foreign policy forward — H.J.Morgenthau

II. verb

( fueled or fuelled ; fueled or fuelled ; fueling or fuelling ; fuels )

transitive verb

1. : to provide with material for burning

the virgin stand of big trees … went long ago … to fuel the furnaces — J.W.Schaefer

2. : support , stimulate

the country might be on its way to self-sufficiency in petroleum instead of … scrabbling for supplies to fuel its industrial development — S.G.Hanson

intransitive verb

: to take in fuel : become provided with fuel — often used with up

the plane's fueling up — Kay Boyle

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.