internal combustion engine


Definition of internal combustion engine

: a heat engine in which the combustion that generates the heat takes place inside the engine proper instead of in a furnace

Examples of internal combustion engine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Only in countries such as Norway, where generous perks and tax breaks have made electrics financially irresistible, is the internal combustion engine being meaningfully displaced by electrics. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting ran on pure, high-octane optimism," 12 June 2019 Just like an internal combustion engine, the electric motor generates a lot of power-sapping heat. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Speaking of Spokes: The Design That Could Change How Electric Car Motors Are Made," 20 Nov. 2018 Cities around the world, but especially in Europe, have begun to shun internal combustion engines in favor of boosting air quality for residents. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Aston Martin will make old cars electric so they don’t get banned from cities," 6 Dec. 2018 Other countries are still continuing a push to phase out the internal combustion engine (the UK just released more details on its plan for a ban by 2040 this week,) so the EV industry isn’t likely to shrivel up and die because a US credit goes away. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "The Terrible Timing of Tesla's Expiring $7,500 Tax Credit," 12 July 2018 Carnot rules One famous limit of thermodynamics is that heat engines, like steam engines and internal combustion engines, must be less efficient than a Carnot heat engine (a heat engine cycle designed by French engineer Carnot). Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Pulsed engines provide high efficiency, output power, low fluctuations," 25 Sep. 2018 At the heart of the system is an internal combustion engine, which is usually fueled by the local natural gas supply. David Agrell, Popular Mechanics, "Should You Buy a Standby Generator?," 11 Sep. 2018 Compared to internal combustion engines, batteries and motors have just a handful of moving parts. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "This Week in the Future of Cars: Let’s Get That Win," 27 Apr. 2018 To propel the exotic vehicle, the Soviets developed a four-cylinder internal combustion engine, but with a twist. Anatoly Zak, Popular Mechanics, "The Soviet Union's Secret Moon Base That Never Was," 11 Feb. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'internal combustion engine.' 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 internal combustion engine

1884, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for internal combustion engine

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for internal combustion engine

The first known use of internal combustion engine was in 1884

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More Definitions for internal combustion engine

internal combustion engine


English Language Learners Definition of internal combustion engine

: a type of engine that is used for most vehicles : an engine in which the fuel is burned within engine cylinders

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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