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

Engines are shrinking, losing cylinders, and gaining turbochargers and superchargers, even as full-size trucks put on weight and grow, grow, grow. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Ford Keeps It Old-School With the New 7.3-Liter Gas V8," 1 May 2019 More difficult is taking over when the company is firing on all cylinders—more than two-thirds of Americans now own Apple products—and there is seemingly nowhere to go but down. Steven Sinofsky, WSJ, "‘Tim Cook’ Review: How to Succeed a Success," 15 Apr. 2019 The Silverado offers a variety of engines: a V6 (285 horsepower), a V8 (355 horsepower), a larger and stronger V8 (420 horsepower), and a turbocharged four-cylinder (310 horsepower). Dan Frio, Edmunds, USA TODAY, "Full-size pickups: Edmunds rounds up the latest news on five 2019 models," 6 July 2018 Set it on some plastic or parchment, and roll it out into an even cylinder, about 1 to 1 ½ inches in diameter. James P. Dewan,, "5 flavor-packed sauces to pair with Fourth of July grilled steaks," 26 June 2018 Roll cylinder tightly, especially at beginning and end, to help dough and filling adhere when baked. Adam Ried,, "Recipes: Fill your home with the aroma of cinnamon swirl bread," 15 June 2018 There’s moisture in that air, so the brake fluid has to absorb the moisture to keep water from rusting the brake lines, the master cylinder, the caliper pistons and your ABS (antilock braking system) components. Ray Magliozzi,, "CAR TALK: Time To Trade Out Old Reliable For New Subaru?," 25 May 2018 Full-cylinder rollers are usually a bit softer; the hollow ones usually have harder plastic in the middle, which puts more pressure on your body with less effort on your end. Isadora Baum, SELF, "7 Foam Rolling Mistakes You Should Avoid," 16 Mar. 2019 Orsborn: The big question, of course, is whether the Spurs would have enough time with a healthy, clicking-on-all-cylinders Kawhi Leonard to round into tip-top shape rhythm-wise before the playoffs start. Staff Report, San Antonio Express-News, "Writers’ roundtable: How far can Spurs go if Leonard regains form?," 9 Mar. 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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Statistics for cylinder

Last Updated

9 May 2019

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Time Traveler for cylinder

The first known use of cylinder was in 1570

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More Definitions for cylinder



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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