Definition of diesel in English:



  • 1An internal combustion engine in which heat produced by the compression of air in the cylinder is used to ignite the fuel.

    as modifier ‘a diesel locomotive’
    • ‘With the amount of misinformation out there on diesel and turbo charging diesels we feel obliged to inform you of the facts.’
    • ‘The range of the tank was increased by the installation of a diesel engine and additional fuel tanks.’
    • ‘Generally there is no point with diesels as the power dies long before 4,000 rpm is on the clock.’
    • ‘Now all you hear is the high pitched whine of the diesel engine in high compression.’
    • ‘Because they consume less fuel for a given amount of work, diesels emit less carbon dioxide.’
    • ‘The greater the compression of a diesel engine, the greater its power.’
    • ‘It was difficult to hear over the revving of the massive diesel engine.’
    • ‘Some give and take will be necessary between manufacturers and regulators for diesels to be viable.’
    • ‘The inventor of the diesel engine expected it to be fuelled by vegetable oils, hemp being the most suitable.’
    • ‘If the fuel companies are to be believed, we also like to make sure we put the best fuel into our diesels.’
    • ‘Or maybe it will be alternative-powered vehicles such as hybrids, fuel cells or diesels.’
    • ‘On some diesels, fuel feed lines carry pressurized fuel up to the injectors.’
    • ‘Unusually, this coupe body is also available with a turbo diesel engine.’
    • ‘Later, tiny gas-mechanical and even battery locomotives came along then diesels.’
    • ‘This is because overheating can damage any engine and diesels are particularly susceptible.’
    • ‘The five cylinder turbocharged diesel engine is extremely noisy at all times.’
    • ‘At the end of the building, two large chiller units are stood, each with a diesel engine driving the compressor that keeps it cool.’
    • ‘Steam locomotives gave way to diesels, and cabooses were replaced by little boxes.’
    • ‘Much of this relates to the fuel delivery system, the previous Achilles heel of the diesel engine.’
    • ‘In the engine chamber of diesels, the pistons are rigged to create a high amount of pressure.’
    1. 1.1mass noun A heavy petroleum fraction used as fuel in diesel engines.
      ‘eleven litres of diesel’
      • ‘We don't need to have gasoline as a fuel, or diesel oil as a fuel.’
      • ‘Biodiesel is an alternative to petroleum diesel and can be used to power cars, trucks, and buses.’
      • ‘The last budget imposed a five cent increase in the tax on a litre of petrol and diesel.’
      • ‘The trawler that sank off the East Coast of the Chatham Islands contained more than 100 tonnes of diesel oil, hydraulic oil and lubricating oils - a potential disaster for the 80 percent of locals who rely on the fishing industry in the area.’
      • ‘They would use renewable energy sources such as natural gas, diesel oil, bio-fuel and hydrogen to generate electricity with a steam turbine and any heat generated would be used to heat water.’
      • ‘A new deli counter is the main feature, also on sale are all grocery items, plus diesel and petrol.’
      • ‘Hundreds of gallons of diesel oil spilt into Kenmare harbour at the weekend posing a serious threat to the local environment.’
      • ‘The price of petrol, diesel and kerosene has gone up four times since February.’
      • ‘The price of premium gasoline - the fuel used by private car owners and thus the well-off - should be increased the most, followed by industrial diesel oil.’
      • ‘Today, most forms of transportation depend on the combustion of a hydrocarbon fuel such as gasoline, kerosene, or diesel oil to produce the energy that drives pistons and moves the vehicles on which modern society depends.’
      • ‘The fishermen were covered in diesel oil, but otherwise unhurt.’
      • ‘For example, coal, diesel oil and natural gas-fired thermoelectric plants will supply about two-thirds of the 3,200 megawatts of new electric power which was put out to bidders by the Brazilian government last December.’
      • ‘Kerosene and diesel oil contribute the most to petroleum subsidy.’
      • ‘Although catalytic cracking allows some of these compounds to be used in gasoline, the majority is used as furnace oil, diesel oil, and as industrial fuels.’
      • ‘Organizations ranging from a coffee company in the northwest to school districts on the east coast are chucking their diesel oil for biodiesel.’
      • ‘Higher oil prices have added to the cost of petrol, diesel, kerosene and gas as well as transport.’
      • ‘How many barrels of diesel oil can you produce to keep it all running?’
      • ‘The day has come now when a litre of petrol or diesel costs as must as a gallon did a few years ago.’
      • ‘The vessel was thought to be carrying heavy equipment, including bulldozers, cement and other construction materials, as well as 40 tons of diesel oil, when it capsized.’
      • ‘The engine and generator are missing but when they are replaced they will use diesel and not petrol as fuel.’
      power source, heat source, combustible, propellant
      View synonyms


Late 19th century: named after R. Diesel (see Diesel, Rudolf).