Simple Definition of engine
: 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
2 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>
3 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>
4 : 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>
5 : a railroad locomotive
6 : computer software that performs a fundamental function especially of a larger program
Examples of engine in a sentence
The car has a four-cylinder engine.
tanks, planes, and other engines of war
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
Definition of engine
: to equip with engines
First Known Use of engine
ENGINE Defined for Kids
History for 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.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up engine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).