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diesel

Meaning: a compression-ignition engine that burns fuel on the inside by forcing into a small space and then injecting fuel into it. The air heats up and ignites the fuel without a spark plug. Diesel engines are used for heavy vehicles, such as trucks, trains and submarines. Diesel is also a low-grade petroleum for fuelling a diesel engine.

For example:

  • Our truck runs on diesel fuel, so make sure you go to the right fuel pump.

  • One problem with diesel fuel is that it pollutes the air.

Note: "Diesel" is also a fashion brand that specializes in denim. The name was chosen because diesel is an alternative form of energy and the designer was interested in alternative fashion.

Origin: Rudolf Diesel (1854-1913) was the German inventor of the diesel engine. He studied fuel efficiency and invented the diesel engine after realizing that the early gasoline-powered engines and steam-powered engines were not very efficient. Diesel engines and the fuel that they typically use today were named after him.

Quick Quiz:

What reason might a person have for buying a vehicle with a diesel engine?

a. The local gas station only sells gasoline.

b. The buyer is very concerned about the environment.

c. The vehicle is a heavy truck, that requires a lot of power.

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Contributor: Tara Benwell