noun \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



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Machine that can convert any of various forms of energy into mechanical power or motion. The steam engines developed during the Industrial Revolution to power stationary machinery were modified in the 19th century to propel locomotives and ships, and were joined later by steam turbines. Internal-combustion engines were developed by Nikolaus Otto and Rudolf Diesel in the late 19th century. Gas turbines and rocket engines came into use in the later 20th century. See also diesel engine, gasoline engine, jet engine, rocket, and rotary engine.


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