cyl·in·der | \ˈsi-lən-dər \

Definition of cylinder 

1a : the surface traced by a straight line moving parallel to a fixed straight line and intersecting a fixed planar closed curve

b : a solid or surface bounded by a cylinder and two parallel planes cutting all its elements especially : right circular cylinder — see Volume Formulas Table

2 : a cylindrical body or space: such as

a : the turning chambered breech of a revolver

b(1) : the piston chamber in an engine

(2) : a chamber in a pump from which the piston expels the fluid

c : any of various rotating members in a press (such as a printing press) especially : one that impresses paper on an inked form

d : a cylindrical clay object inscribed with cuneiform inscriptions

on all cylinders

: with maximum effort or intensity : at full capacity or speed the economy is running on all cylinders

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Other Words from cylinder

cylindered \ˈsi-lən-dərd \ adjective

Examples of cylinder in a Sentence

the cylinder of a revolver

Recent Examples on the Web

Host-nation Russia was firing on all cylinders in their 5-0 defeat of Saudi Arabia on Thursday to officially kick off the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and Friday's Day 2 action features the first full-slate of games. USA TODAY, "World Cup: Schedule, TV time and storylines for Friday, June 15," 15 June 2018 With Ogunbowale leading the way, the Fighting Irish offense ranked fifth in efficiency, scoring 115 points per 100 possessions, and the offense has been firing on all cylinders in the tournament. Ben Baskin,, "Women's Final Four Preview: Can Notre Dame Stop UConn? Who Will Win Lousville-Mississippi State?," 28 Mar. 2018 My mom was still hooked up to the oxygen, the pink tubes in her nose attached to a bank of glass cylinders filled with glowing, bubbling liquid in a variety of colors. Gayle Brandeis, Longreads, "A Tale of Two Vegases," 21 Feb. 2018 Terrorists had driven a van packed with 1,500 pounds of urea nitrate and hydrogen-gas cylinders into a public parking garage beneath the World Trade Center before detonating the bomb, killing six people and injuring over a thousand. Jamie Goldberg,, "Police ask public for help in locating stolen Timbers championship ring," 13 Feb. 2018 When the diver and their finned friends reach 180 feet, the cylinder is placed inside another tube. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "New Gadget Brings Fish Up From the Ocean’s “Twilight Zone”," 11 June 2018 Under the hood is a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine with 73 horsepower and 82 foot-pounds of torque, combined with a 60-horsepower electric motor. G. Chambers Williams Iii, Houston Chronicle, "COMPACT," 13 July 2018 Up to speed: The 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder engine creates 248 horsepower. Scott Sturgis,, "BMW X3 gets a redesign for 2018," 28 June 2018 The all-new turbocharged boxer four cylinder engine makes 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, good enough to tow 5,000 pounds, according to Subaru. Robert Duffer,, "Review: Subaru climbs into 3-row class with 2019 Ascent," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cylinder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cylinder

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cylinder

Middle French or Latin; Middle French cylindre, from Latin cylindrus, from Greek kylindros, from kylindein to roll; perhaps akin to Greek kyklos wheel — more at wheel

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Phrases Related to cylinder

fire on all cylinders

Statistics for cylinder

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cylinder

The first known use of cylinder was in 1570

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More Definitions for cylinder


cyl·in·der | \ˈsi-lən-dər \

Kids Definition of cylinder

: a long round body whether hollow or solid

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More from Merriam-Webster on cylinder

Spanish Central: Translation of cylinder

Nglish: Translation of cylinder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cylinder for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cylinder

Comments on cylinder

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exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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