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Medical Term:


Pronunciation: pe-tro'le-um


A mixture of liquid hydrocarbons found in the earth in various parts of the world and believed to be derived from fossilized animal and plant remains; the source of petrolatum, in addition to its use for lighting and heating purposes.

Synonym(s): coal oil, rock oil

[L. petra, rock, + oleum, oil]

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.