One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounmass nounNorth American
A light fuel oil obtained by distilling petroleum, used especially in jet engines and domestic heating boilers; paraffin oil.
- ‘Homes in villages are lit with paraffin wicks in tin cans filled with kerosene, a substance that is both dangerous and expensive.’
- ‘In the land of oil, they have to queue five hours a day to get kerosene or petrol.’
- ‘The refinery is the nation's largest producer of gasoline, kerosene and other refined products.’
- ‘Soldiers check through bags for any banned goods, including diesel, petrol or kerosene.’
- ‘For those people who use kerosene, the fuel price hike will be a heavy burden.’
- ‘To reduce the problem of fuel supply in the cave, they turned to less bulky kerosene.’
- ‘Many pieces of wood, soaked with kerosene made a splendid fire in the barbecue pit.’
- ‘Farmers then visit kiosks to purchase spices, kerosene, soap, vegetables or fish, and salt.’
- ‘There is no duty on kerosene when it is used as heating oil but it can be mixed with diesel to run engines.’
- ‘One of the coaches was doused with kerosene and petrol and set on fire.’
- ‘These herbicides must be applied in an oil-based carrier such as diesel fuel or kerosene.’
- ‘Sales of petrol, kerosene, gas and other petroleum products were suspended.’
- ‘Early types of gasoline were produced as a byproduct of the process used to make kerosene fuel for oil lamps.’
- ‘Higher oil prices have added to the cost of petrol, diesel, kerosene and gas as well as transport.’
- ‘There was wood all around the base and the smell of kerosene was thick in the cold air.’
- ‘People used kerosene for cooking and lighting, which was dangerous because of the thatched roofs.’
- ‘With no duty on kerosene in the north, smugglers are bringing heating oil south by the ton.’
- ‘The price of petrol, diesel and kerosene has gone up four times since February.’
- ‘Do not use kerosene or fuel oil emulsions as they can cause undesirable flavors in fish.’
- ‘At one roadside stall, children filled polythene bags with just enough kerosene to keep the family stove burning for one more evening.’
Mid 19th century: from Greek kēros ‘wax’ (because the solid form of paraffin is wax-like) + -ene.
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