noun \ˈpis-tən\

: a part of an engine that moves up and down inside a tube and that causes other parts of the engine to move

Full Definition of PISTON

:  a sliding piece moved by or moving against fluid pressure which usually consists of a short cylindrical body fitting within a cylindrical chamber or vessel along which it moves back and forth
:  a sliding valve moving in a cylinder in a brass instrument which when depressed by a finger knob serves to lower the instrument's pitch

Origin of PISTON

French, from Italian pistone, from pistare to pound, from Old Italian, from Medieval Latin, from Latin pistus, past participle of pinsere to crush — more at pestle
First Known Use: 1704

Rhymes with PISTON


biographical name \ˈpis-tən\

Definition of PISTON

Walter Hamor 1894–1976 Am. composer


Next Word in the Dictionary: piston displacement
Previous Word in the Dictionary: pistol–whip
All Words Near: piston

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up piston? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More