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

The main culprit is carbon monoxide: People forget that generators are internal combustion engines and run them in enclosed spaces. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "How the Honda EU2200i Generator Is Getting Me Through Hurricane Florence," 17 Sep. 2018 What carmakers unveiled during Monterey Car Week had little to do with furthering the legacy of the traditional internal combustion engine. Tamara Warren, The Verge, "Monterey Car Week is where the past and future of automobiles collide," 29 Aug. 2018 Without internal combustion engines chugging away, tunnels would be smaller, as ventilation is less of an issue. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Boring Company approved to build a tunnel entrance inside a residential garage," 13 Sep. 2018 Toughening fuel economy and emissions standards are squeezing internal combustion engines from one side, and hybrids and pure-electric vehicles are squeezing them from the other. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "How Infiniti's Variable-Compression Engine Works," 16 July 2018 The internal combustion engine fires the overwhelming majority of the world’s vehicles. Russell Gold, WSJ, "Oil, Utilities Fight to Fuel Vehicles of the Future," 15 July 2018 And the piazza, with the gleaming white marble of the 16th-century Church of San Giorgio Maggiore serving as backdrop, had to be one of the most elegant finish lines for any event revolving around an internal combustion engine. Mraz, Town & Country, "A Venetian Affair," 20 Dec. 2012 Things like the United Kingdom’s proposed ban on internal combustion engines, most of which run on oil products, for example. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Exxon is lobbying for a carbon tax. There is, obviously, a catch.," 18 Oct. 2018 While a lot more work needs to be done to wean the car-happy state off internal combustion engines, the city’s transit agency, which operates the second-largest bus fleet in the country behind New York City, has made a commitment to clean up. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "9 cities with smart ideas to improve transportation," 18 Sep. 2018

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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Last Updated

2 Jan 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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