General English


  • noun a substance that can be burnt to provide heat or power, e.g. wood, coal, gas or oil
  • verb to use a fuel to power something


  • noun a substance such as gas, oil, petrol, etc., which is burnt to produce heat or power

Cars & Driving

  • noun a substance burned as a source of heat or power, that used in an engine being a liquid or a gas


  • noun material (like oil, coal, gas) used to give power


  • noun a substance which is burnt in order to provide heat or power (e.g. diesel, gas, petrol, wood)

Origin & History of “fuel”

The notions of ‘fuel’ and ‘fire’ are closely connected etymologically. Fuel comes via Anglo-Norman fuaille from medieval Latin focālia, which was used in legal documents as a term for the ‘right to demand material for making a fire’. It was a derivative of Latin focus ‘fireplace, fire’, which also gave English focus, foyer, and fusillade.