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

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Other Words from cylinder

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

Examples of cylinder in a Sentence

the cylinder of a revolver
Recent Examples on the Web The disparity between the two teams was on clear display in the third quarter when the Bucks fired on all cylinders to take over the game for good. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks 120, Pelicans 108: The first Giannis-Zion clash goes in the veteran's favor," 4 Feb. 2020 Push the plunger in each helping syringe all the way down so that it is fully depressed into the cylinder. Scientific American, "Lift a Large Load Using Liquids," 23 Jan. 2020 The Wolverines' offense fired on all cylinders in the second half, as the Wolverines began hitting outside shots. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball's comeback falls short in overtime loss to Oregon, 71-70," 14 Dec. 2019 The show was firing on all cylinders, balancing its absurdist extremes (Holt wallowing in a spa mask! Ew Staff,, "The 30 best TV episodes of 2019," 12 Dec. 2019 Head coach Alan Hooper and his assistant Terry Boeckel saw the club come out firing on all cylinders in the second half as quarterback David Boeckel connected with his receivers. Emmett Hall,, "Tiger Sharks notch first win of season in Holiday Park flag football action," 10 Oct. 2019 The Sunnyvale squad’s offense continued to fire on all cylinders in the Northern California tournament. Phil Jensen, The Mercury News, "Sunnyvale Little League squads win section titles," 24 July 2019 Playing with a potent combination of confidence and conviction, the Pelicans are firing on all cylinders on both ends of the court and the synchronicity is a beautiful thing to watch. Jeff Duncan,, "Pelicans' playoff run is turning New Orleans into a basketball town again," 20 Apr. 2018 Despite its small three-cylinder, the Escape is quicker than most competitors, perfect for anyone looking to establish dominance. Annie White, Car and Driver, "Ford's New Escape Leaves a Bitter Aftertaste," 27 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for cylinder

Time Traveler

The first known use of cylinder was in 1570

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Statistics for cylinder

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cylinder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cylinder


How to pronounce cylinder (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cylinder

: a shape that has straight sides and two circular ends
: a tube in which a piston of an engine moves
: the part of a gun that turns and that holds the bullets


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

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

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