tur·​bine | \ ˈtər-bən How to pronounce turbine (audio) , -ˌbīn \

Definition of turbine

: a rotary engine actuated by the reaction or impulse or both of a current of fluid (such as water, steam, or air) subject to pressure and usually made with a series of curved vanes on a central rotating spindle

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Did You Know?

The oldest and simplest form of turbine is the waterwheel, which is made to rotate by water falling across its blades and into buckets suspended from them. Hero of Alexandria invented the first steam-driven turbine in the 1st century A.D., but a commercially practical steam turbine wasn't developed until 1884; steam turbines are now the main elements of electric power stations. Jet engines are gas turbines. A turbojet engine uses a turbine to compress the incoming air that feeds the engine before being ejected to push the plane forward; a turboprop engine uses its exhaust to drive a turbine that spins a propeller. A wind turbine generates electricity by being turned by the wind; the largest now have vanes with a turning diameter of over 400 feet.

Examples of turbine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His company built the lodge and an Olympic-sized swimming pool and began generating electricity using a turbine shipped by rail from Ohio. Richard Read, oregonlive, "Inside the battle to save Breitenbush," 22 Sep. 2020 Next comes the manufacturing and quality testing of the turbine parts. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Watch Contractors Hypnotically Build an Entire Wind Turbine Farm," 21 Sep. 2020 Icebreaker Wind proponents objected to the board’s requirement that the turbine blades can’t move at night between March 1 and Nov. 1, which was aimed at limiting risk to birds and bats. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, "‘Poison pill’ ruling for Lake Erie wind farm will stand, according to draft order," 15 Sep. 2020 Prices stabilized in 2018 and the big European turbine makers can now earn margins of between 6% and 10% on sales and over 20% on service contracts. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, "How Investors Can Harness the Power of Wind," 8 Sep. 2020 In the three years that followed, only six birds were found dead due to striking their turbine blades. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Bird deaths down 70 percent after painting wind turbine blades," 25 Aug. 2020 Inside the plant, the resulting steam would run to a generating turbine, cool off, and circulate back to the reactors. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "NuScale’s small nuclear reactor is first to get US safety approval," 1 Sep. 2020 The agency has also worked in recent years to improve that system, though power capacity took a hit last year when a turbine exploded. Jessica Williams | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Cantrell asks New Orleans to stay vigilant as Laura heads towards Gulf," 24 Aug. 2020 The use of nuclear power instead of a turbine engine should give Burevestnik the ability to fly thousands of miles—and perhaps even for days—to skirt U.S. missile defense systems. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russian Village in 'Danger Zone' of Possible Nuclear Missile Test," 6 July 2020

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

1842, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for turbine

French, from Latin turbin-, turbo top, whirlwind, whirl, from turba confusion — more at turbid

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Time Traveler for turbine

Time Traveler

The first known use of turbine was in 1842

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Statistics for turbine

Last Updated

30 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Turbine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turbine. Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for turbine


How to pronounce turbine (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of turbine

: an engine that has a part with blades that are caused to spin by pressure from water, steam, or air


tur·​bine | \ ˈtər-bən How to pronounce turbine (audio) \

Kids Definition of turbine

: an engine whose central driving shaft is fitted with a series of winglike parts that are spun by the pressure of water, steam, or gas

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More from Merriam-Webster on turbine

Nglish: Translation of turbine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of turbine for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about turbine

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