engine

noun
en·gine | \ˈen-jən \

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

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 The nation’s vast public lands have always been an engine for energy development. Zack Colman, Scientific American, "A Trump Oil Boom Could Transform This Rocky Mountain Landscape," 13 July 2018 San Francisco residents seem to be divided into four broad classes, or perhaps even castes: The Inner Party of venture capitalists and successful entrepreneurs who run the tech machine that is the engine of the city’s economy. Antonio García Martínez, WIRED, "How Silicon Valley Fuels an Informal Caste System," 9 July 2018 The retro model is the narrative engine of the new documentary Three Identical Strangers. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Three Identical Men and a Mystery," 5 July 2018 Communities that strategically position themselves in the economic development marketplace as sustainable places to live and do business are more likely to be successful engines of innovation, business development, and employment growth. charlotteobserver, "Ashley Christensen," 3 July 2018 Under the hood is an advanced 5.6-liter V-8 engine with 400 horsepower and 413 foot-pounds of torque, connected to a smooth-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control and manual shift mode with Downshift Rev Matching. star-telegram, "Infiniti QX80 full-size luxury SUV brings elegance, technology to the family hauler," 30 June 2018 There's no engine to feed with air and few radiators to cool, so the body isn't scarred with intake ducts, scoops, or vents. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "7:57:148—Volkswagen makes racing history with record-breaking electric race car," 29 June 2018 Resting on steel supports and accompanied by recordings of people reciting the Catholic rosary in German, French and English are car engines from Porsche, Citroen and Lincoln, which are running. New York Times, "This Artist Foresaw Our Digital Future in a Meadow of Dandelions," 21 June 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

13 Oct 2018

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 \

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

evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!