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’
    • ‘Now all you hear is the high pitched whine of the diesel engine in high compression.’
    • ‘Generally there is no point with diesels as the power dies long before 4,000 rpm is on the clock.’
    • ‘The range of the tank was increased by the installation of a diesel engine and additional fuel tanks.’
    • ‘In the engine chamber of diesels, the pistons are rigged to create a high amount of pressure.’
    • ‘Because they consume less fuel for a given amount of work, diesels emit less carbon dioxide.’
    • ‘Some give and take will be necessary between manufacturers and regulators for diesels to be viable.’
    • ‘This is because overheating can damage any engine and diesels are particularly susceptible.’
    • ‘At the end of the building, two large chiller units are stood, each with a diesel engine driving the compressor that keeps it cool.’
    • ‘With the amount of misinformation out there on diesel and turbo charging diesels we feel obliged to inform you of the facts.’
    • ‘Steam locomotives gave way to diesels, and cabooses were replaced by little boxes.’
    • ‘The five cylinder turbocharged diesel engine is extremely noisy at all times.’
    • ‘If the fuel companies are to be believed, we also like to make sure we put the best fuel into our diesels.’
    • ‘On some diesels, fuel feed lines carry pressurized fuel up to the injectors.’
    • ‘The inventor of the diesel engine expected it to be fuelled by vegetable oils, hemp being the most suitable.’
    • ‘Later, tiny gas-mechanical and even battery locomotives came along then diesels.’
    • ‘Or maybe it will be alternative-powered vehicles such as hybrids, fuel cells or diesels.’
    • ‘It was difficult to hear over the revving of the massive diesel engine.’
    • ‘The greater the compression of a diesel engine, the greater its power.’
    • ‘Unusually, this coupe body is also available with a turbo diesel engine.’
    • ‘Much of this relates to the fuel delivery system, the previous Achilles heel of the diesel engine.’
    1. 1.1[mass noun]A heavy petroleum fraction used as fuel in diesel engines.
      ‘eleven litres of diesel’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Kerosene and diesel oil contribute the most to petroleum subsidy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The last budget imposed a five cent increase in the tax on a litre of petrol and diesel.’
      • ‘The fishermen were covered in diesel oil, but otherwise unhurt.’
      • ‘The day has come now when a litre of petrol or diesel costs as must as a gallon did a few years ago.’
      • ‘The price of petrol, diesel and kerosene has gone up four times since February.’
      • ‘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 engine and generator are missing but when they are replaced they will use diesel and not petrol as fuel.’
      • ‘A new deli counter is the main feature, also on sale are all grocery items, plus diesel and petrol.’
      • ‘Organizations ranging from a coffee company in the northwest to school districts on the east coast are chucking their diesel oil for biodiesel.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Biodiesel is an alternative to petroleum diesel and can be used to power cars, trucks, and buses.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We don't need to have gasoline as a fuel, or diesel oil as a fuel.’
      • ‘Hundreds of gallons of diesel oil spilt into Kenmare harbour at the weekend posing a serious threat to the local environment.’
      • ‘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.’
      power source, combustible, propellant
      View synonyms


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