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

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 Depending on where buyers live, both cars could cost as much as $10,000 less thanks to what are pretty generous government subsidies resulting from Beijing’s push to wean the country off of internal combustion engines. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla’s competition for the Model Y is growing quickly in China," 21 Dec. 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of internal combustion engine

1884, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about internal combustion engine

Statistics for internal combustion engine

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for internal combustion engine

The first known use of internal combustion engine was in 1884

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on internal combustion engine

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


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”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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