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Line breaks: die¦sel
Pronunciation: /ˈdiːz(ə)l

Definition of diesel in English:


1 (also diesel engine) An 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
More example sentences
  • With the amount of misinformation out there on diesel and turbo charging diesels we feel obliged to inform you of the facts.
  • In the engine chamber of diesels, the pistons are rigged to create a high amount of pressure.
  • The greater the compression of a diesel engine, the greater its power.
1.1 [mass noun] (also diesel oil) A heavy petroleum fraction used as fuel in diesel engines: eleven litres of diesel
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • We don't need to have gasoline as a fuel, or diesel oil as a fuel.
  • Kerosene and diesel oil contribute the most to petroleum subsidy.


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



(also dieselise) verb
Example sentences
  • This came about with Canadian National railways dieselizing, (to say nothing of the CR itself), and the arrival in 1958 of the Trans Canada oil pipeline.
  • Coal continued in use for some years after the railways dieselized in 1960.
  • Once PRR made the commitment to dieselize, it tried to find an application for the Tl on roads still committed to coal burning steam locomotives such as C&O.

Definition of diesel in:

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