1

engine

noun en·gine \ ˈen-jən \

Definition of engine

1 obsolete
b :evil contrivance :wile
2 a :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
3 a :a mechanical tool: such as
(1) :an instrument or machine of war
(2) obsolete :a torture implement
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

engineless

adjective

Examples of engine in a Sentence

  1. The car has a four-cylinder engine.

  2. tanks, planes, and other engines of war

  3. The tax cut could be an engine of economic growth.

Recent Examples of engine from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of engine

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

engine Synonyms

Other Mechanical Engineering Terms


2

engine

verb

Definition of engine

engined; engining
transitive verb
:to equip with engines

First Known Use of engine

1841


ENGINE Defined for English Language Learners

engine

noun

Definition of engine for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

engine

noun en·gine \ ˈen-jən \

Definition of engine for Students

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

History for engine

The English word engine came from the Latin word ingenium, meaning “natural talent.” At first the word engine meant “skill” or “cleverness.” In time the word came to be used for things that are products of human skills and cleverness—tools and machines, for example.



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