View your list of saved words. (You can log in using Facebook.)
Machine component consisting of a toothed wheel attached to a rotating shaft. Gears operate in pairs, the teeth of one engaging the teeth of a second, to transmit and modify rotary motion and torque. To transmit motion smoothly, the contacting surfaces of gear teeth must be carefully shaped to a specific profile. The smaller of a gear pair is often known as the pinion. If the pinion is on the driving shaft, the pair acts to reduce speed and to amplify torque; if the pinion is on the driven shaft, the pair acts to increase speed and reduce torque.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on gear, visit Britannica.com.