steam engine


Definition of steam engine 

: an engine driven or worked by steam specifically : a reciprocating engine having a piston driven in a closed cylinder by steam

Examples of steam engine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The 70-ton machine became the first steam engine to reach an authenticated speed of 100 mph, and went on to provide express service for decades, only retiring after some 2,000,000 miles. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "The Iconic Flying Scotsman Steam Engine Looks Majestic In a Dead Sprint," 26 Feb. 2016 Also on display now is an 1888 Silsby steam engine, made in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Mark Yost, WSJ, "A Museum to Spark New Interest," 11 July 2018 Locomotives and steam engines, water fountains and lampposts, anything and everything that could be cast from molten metal was on display. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 Over the Labor Day weekend in 1978, his wife saw a newspaper photograph of a new steam engine that was running on the small railroad in Tilden park. Paul Chinn,, "Tilden park’s railway engineer rolls through decades of train runs, hand waves," 10 June 2018 In his telling, the American Revolution helped damage the whaling industry, and the Napoleonic Wars helped spur advances in the steam engine by increasing the demand for horses and, therefore, the cost of transporting them and their fodder. New York Times, "A History of the Energy We Have Consumed," 18 June 2018 Canals are needed to move coal, rails to move steam engines and pipelines to carry natural gas — and Rhodes reveals how each required more ingenuity than commonly appreciated to materialize. New York Times, "A History of the Energy We Have Consumed," 18 June 2018 This expert working of metal is traced back to James Watt and his development of the steam engine. Roma Agrawal, New York Times, "Under Modernity’s Hood: Precision Engineering," 14 May 2018 The play space also will feature a 30-foot replica of a Corliss steam engine to pay homage to the machine that powered the exhibits at the Centennial Exposition in 1876. Julia Terruso,, "$5 million improvement to Fairmount Park could signal revival in Parkside," 14 June 2018

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

1751, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for steam engine

The first known use of steam engine was in 1751

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More Definitions for steam engine

steam engine


Kids Definition of steam engine

: an engine powered by steam

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Nglish: Translation of steam engine for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about steam engine

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