"gasoline, refined petroleum used in motor-cars," 1895, from French pétrol (1892); earlier used (1580s) in reference to the unrefined substance, from petrole "petroleum" (13c.), from Medieval Latin petroleum (see petroleum).
"an incendiary," especially one of the adherents of the Commune who used petroleum to set fire to the public buildings of Paris upon the entry of the national troops, 1871, from French pétroleur, from petrole (see petrol). The fem. form is pétroleuse.
"vehicle," 1610s, originally "small wheel" (especially one on which the carriages of a ship's guns were mounted), probably from Latin trochus "iron hoop," from Greek trokhos "wheel," from trekhein "to run" (see truckle (n.)). Sense extended to "cart for carrying heavy loads" (1774), then in American English to "motor vehicle for carrying heavy loads" (1913), a shortened form of motor truck in this sense (1901).
There have also been lost to the enemy 6,200 guns, 2,550 tanks and 70,000 trucks, which is the American name for lorries, and which, I understand, has been adopted by the combined staffs in North-West Africa in exchange for the use of the word petrol in place of gasolene. [Winston Churchill, address to joint session of U.S. Congress, May 19, 1943]
Truck stop is attested from 1956.
early 15c., "petroleum, rock oil, oily inflammable substance occurring naturally in certain rock beds" (mid-14c. in Anglo-French), from Medieval Latin petroleum, from Latin petra "rock" (see petrous) + oleum "oil" (see oil (n.)). Commercial production and refinement of it began in 1859 in western Pennsylvania, and for most of the late 19th century it was produced commercially almost entirely in Pennsylvania and western New York.
Petroleum was known to the Persians, Greeks, and Romans under the name of naphtha; the less-liquid varieties were called [asphaltos] by the Greeks, and bitumen was with the Romans a generic name for all the naturally occurring hydrocarbons which are now included under the names of asphaltum, maltha, and petroleum. The last name was not in use in classic times. [Century Dictionary, 1895]