noun en·gine \ˈen-jən\

: a machine that changes energy (such as heat from burning fuel) into mechanical motion

: the vehicle that pulls a train

: something that is used for a particular purpose

Full Definition of ENGINE

a :  ingenuity
b :  evil contrivance :  wile
a :  something used to effect a purpose :  agent, instrument <mournful and terrible engine of horror and of crime — E. A. Poe>
b :  something that produces a particular and usually desirable result <engines of economic growth>
a :  a mechanical tool: as (1) :  an instrument or machine of war (2) obsolete :  a torture implement
b :  machinery
c :  any of various mechanical appliances —often used in combination <fire engine>
:  a machine for converting any of various forms of energy into mechanical force and motion; also :  a mechanism or object that serves as an energy source <black holes may be the engines for quasars>
:  a railroad locomotive
:  computer software that performs a fundamental function especially of a larger program
en·gine·less adjective

Examples of ENGINE

  1. The car has a four-cylinder engine.
  2. tanks, planes, and other engines of war
  3. The tax cut could be an engine of economic growth.

Origin of ENGINE

Middle English engin, from Anglo-French, from Latin ingenium natural disposition, talent, from in- + gignere to beget — more at kin
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Mechanical Engineering Terms

centrifuge, differential, flange, lathe, linchpin, pinion, plenum, ratchet, traction



Definition of ENGINE

transitive verb
:  to equip with engines

First Known Use of ENGINE

ENGINES Defined for Kids


noun en·gine \ˈen-jən\

Definition of ENGINE for Kids

:  a mechanical tool or device <tanks, planes, and other engines of war>
:  a machine for driving or operating something especially by using the energy of steam, gasoline, or oil

Word History of ENGINE

The English word engine came from the Latin word ingenium, meaning natural talent. At first the word engine meant skill or cleverness. In time the word came to be used for things that are products of human skills and cleverness—tools and machines, for example.
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