engine

noun
en·​gine | \ ˈen-jən How to pronounce engine (audio) \

Definition of engine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 obsolete

a : ingenuity
b : evil contrivance : wile
2a : something used to effect a purpose : agent, instrument mournful and terrible engine of horror and of crime— E. A. Poe
b : something that produces a particular and usually desirable result engines of economic growth
3a : a mechanical tool: such as
(1) : an instrument or machine of war
(2) obsolete : a torture implement
b : machinery
c : any of various mechanical appliances often used in combination fire engine
4 : a machine for converting any of various forms of energy into mechanical force and motion also : a mechanism or object that serves as an energy source black holes may be the engines for quasars
5 : a railroad locomotive
6 : computer software that performs a fundamental function especially of a larger program

engine

verb
engined; engining

Definition of engine (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to equip with engines

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from engine

Noun

engineless adjective

Synonyms for engine

Synonyms: Noun

machine, motor

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of engine in a Sentence

Noun

The car has a four-cylinder engine. tanks, planes, and other engines of war The tax cut could be an engine of economic growth.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The airline and the FAA said the plane had a problem with one of its engines, not the flight-control software. David Koenig, The Seattle Times, "FAA to revamp aircraft construction oversight, official says," 27 Mar. 2019 Microsoft has naturally held back most of the secret sauce of its Edge rendering engine in order to maintain a browser advantage on Windows. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Google’s Chrome browser will get better because of Microsoft," 6 Dec. 2018 In a statement shared on both the Tig website and her Instagram, Markle said: What began as a passion project (my little engine that could) evolved into an amazing community of inspiration, support, fun and frivolity. Morgan Evans, Town & Country, "A Definitive History of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Royal Relationship," 15 Oct. 2018 Planes were warned of the ash clouds because volcanic ash is hazardous for their engines. Fox News, "Volcano erupts on same Indonesian island as earlier quake," 3 Oct. 2018 That four-door touring sedan, with its powerful engine and fantastic leather interior, made for an ideal chariot on our seven-day journey zig-zagging around France. Matt Hranek, Condé Nast Traveler, "Great Drives: Speeding Through the French Countryside in the Audi A8," 25 Sep. 2018 Pinkins said Thomas revved his engine and that he was wedged between Thomas' car and a parked car. Max Londberg, kansascity, "Security guards with Overland Park firm murder man in car outside KC bar, police say," 11 July 2018 Then the fire, driven by 35- to 40-mph winds, overtook his engine. Gabby Ferreira, sacbee, "He was fighting the fast-moving Klamathon Fire. Then flames swept over his engine," 8 July 2018 Its engine is a four-on-the-floor dance rhythm and hummable dun-dahhhhhhhhhhhhh melody. William Goodman, Billboard, "Bjork's 'Debut': An Art-Pop Masterpiece Turns 25," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Why can't engine manufacturers come up with an engine similar to what is on the more fuel-efficient aircraft — for example, producing a version of the engine that is on a 787 or a 777 — to fit and safely propel the 747? John Cox, USA TODAY, "Ask the Captain: Can the 747 be saved?," 29 Oct. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of engine

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1841, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for engine

Noun

Middle English engin, from Anglo-French, from Latin ingenium natural disposition, talent, from in- + gignere to beget — more at kin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about engine

Statistics for engine

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for engine

The first known use of engine was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for engine

engine

noun

English Language Learners Definition of engine

: a machine that changes energy (such as heat from burning fuel) into mechanical motion
: the vehicle that pulls a train
: something that is used for a particular purpose

engine

noun
en·​gine | \ ˈen-jən How to pronounce engine (audio) \

Kids Definition of engine

1 : a mechanical tool or device tanks, planes, and other engines of war
2 : a machine for driving or operating something especially by using the energy of steam, gasoline, or oil

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on engine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for engine

Spanish Central: Translation of engine

Nglish: Translation of engine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of engine for Arabic Speakers

Comments on engine

What made you want to look up engine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!