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Definition of ROTARY ENGINE
: any of various engines (as a turbine) in which power is applied to vanes or similar parts constrained to move in a circular path
: a radial engine in which the cylinders revolve about a stationary crankshaft
First Known Use of ROTARY ENGINE
Internal-combustion engine in which the combustion chambers and cylinders rotate with the driven shaft around a fixed control shaft to which pistons are attached. The gas pressures of combustion are used to rotate the shaft. In the Wankel engine, the most fully developed and widely used rotary engine, a triangular rotor rotates with an orbital motion in a specially shaped casing, and forms rotating crescent-shaped combustion chambers between its sides and the curved wall of the casing.