variants: or less commonly aeolipyle or eolipile \ ē-​ˈä-​lə-​ˌpīl \
plural -s

Definition of aeolipile

: an apparatus that was invented in the second century b.c. and is often called the first steam engine and that consisted essentially of a closed vessel (as a globe or cylinder) with one or more projecting bent tubes out of which steam is made to pass from the vessel, the action of the steam jets causing it to revolve

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First Known Use of aeolipile

1654, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aeolipile

Latin & Greek; Latin aeolipila, by folk etymology (influence of Latin pila ball) from Greek aiolipylē, Aiolon pylē, from aioli- (from Aiolos, god of wind) or Aiolon (genitive of Aiolos) + pylē gate

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The first known use of aeolipile was in 1654

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Cite this Entry

“Aeolipile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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