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 Batteries have more capacity, the software controlling the tango between internal combustion engine and electric motor is more advanced, and the fuel economy advantages are increasingly significant. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, "Every Hybrid Crossover and SUV You Can Buy in 2021," 5 Jan. 2021 Sales of hybrid vehicles, which combine the use of an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors to improve fuel efficiency, have grown as the selection of vehicles has increased and prices have become more competitive. Lorraine Mirabella,, "Baltimore-based tech firm and Abell Foundation file lawsuit against Volvo over hybrid engine technology," 28 Dec. 2020 Drivetrain elements usually require an internal combustion engine up front, but all that goes away when a car uses electricity instead of gasoline. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit architectural design influences Mustang Mach-E interior," 6 Dec. 2020 Despite the lack of an internal combustion engine, the iX looks unmistakably like a BMW, massive black grille and all. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "The iX is BMW’s new flagship electric vehicle," 11 Nov. 2020 Many modern internal combustion engine cars have an efficiency of about 20%, transforming only a fifth of gasoline’s energy into motion. Akshat Rathi,, "Numbers Show We’re Not as Addicted to Fossil Fuels as You Think," 17 Nov. 2020 China is considering an outright ban on the internal combustion engine, as a number of markets such as the U.K. and Norway have already called for. Paul A. Eisenstein, NBC News, "Luxury automaker Bentley to go all electric," 10 Nov. 2020 However, the company is still solidly promoting its internal combustion engine offerings, as exemplified most recently by the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Fiat Chrysler CEO says Ram will offer electric pickup," 28 Oct. 2020 Plus mode brought the battery to a 50-percent state of charge, which was enough energy to get me back home again without firing up the internal combustion engine. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Porsche boosts battery capacity by 27 percent for 2021 Panamera hybrid," 22 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for internal combustion engine

Time Traveler

The first known use of internal combustion engine was in 1884

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Statistics for internal combustion engine

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Internal combustion engine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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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