cyl·​in·​der | \ ˈsi-lən-dər How to pronounce cylinder (audio) \

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

Other Words from cylinder

cylindered \ ˈsi-​lən-​dərd How to pronounce cylinder (audio) \ adjective

Examples of cylinder in a Sentence

the cylinder of a revolver
Recent Examples on the Web The Healey is powered by a four-cylinder, 2,954cc engine producing a modest 185bhp and 195 ft/lbs of torque, and mated to a new, five-speed transmission. Alistair Charlton, Forbes, 13 Apr. 2022 By the end of the 1930s, Jolson’s eight-cylinder performance persona had been idling over in Hollywood. New York Times, 30 Mar. 2022 The drone’s engine — a single-cylinder unit with an electronic ignition — traveled a particularly mysterious route, from a small company near Frankfurt, Germany, that makes parts for model airplanes. Washington Post, 11 Feb. 2022 The base drivetrain is a 256-hp four-cylinder engine linked to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, 9 Feb. 2022 The engine is a 1.3 L turbocharged MultiAir four-cylinder that generates 180 hp (134 kW), with the electric motor contributing another 120 hp (90 kW) to la festa. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 8 Feb. 2022 My trapline machines went from Elans, to long-track Yamaha Bravos, to single-cylinder Ski-Doo Tundras. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Jan. 2022 The cockpit voice recorder, also an orange cylinder, was found two days later on Wednesday. Fox News, 27 Mar. 2022 The cockpit voice recorder, also an orange cylinder, was found two days later on Wednesday. Ken Moritsugu, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for cylinder

Time Traveler

The first known use of cylinder was in 1570

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Dictionary Entries Near cylinder



cylinder block

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Statistics for cylinder

Last Updated

30 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cylinder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for cylinder


cyl·​in·​der | \ ˈsi-lən-dər How to pronounce cylinder (audio) \

Kids Definition of cylinder

: a long round body whether hollow or solid

More from Merriam-Webster on cylinder

Nglish: Translation of cylinder for Spanish Speakers

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


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