turbine

noun
tur·​bine | \ˈtər-bən, -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

Keep scrolling for more

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

With changes in the wind, turbines go on- or off-line. Heather Kennison, idahostatesman, "What's it like to rely on renewable energy? Look at life in Idaho.," 26 June 2018 Area residents had worried a flammable liquid called pentane used to help turn turbines could explode or release dangerous gas, but the majority of it has been removed from the site and the wells are being capped. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Hawaii lava flow destroys 12 more homes as Kilauea volcano continues exploding," 29 May 2018 The group worried about the size and volume of this turbine, Haukedalen said. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "On Anchorage’s windy mountainsides, turbines could reduce homeowners’ dependence on the grid," 16 May 2018 In nuclear power plants and shipboard nuclear propulsion, for example, fission took the place of coal and oil burned to turn water into the steam used to spin turbines. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Best bad idea ever? Why Putin’s nuclear-powered missile is possible… and awful," 22 Mar. 2018 The utility also has a backup 60-Hertz turbine brought online in 2014, plus several backup generators brought to the Carrollton plant days after the Aug. 5 flood. Beau Evans, NOLA.com, "Sewerage & Water Board prepped for hurricane season with meteorologist, real-time monitoring," 4 June 2018 The project should include up to 50 turbines generating about 400 megawatts. Washington Post, "Massachusetts hoping to be nation’s offshore wind power hub," 3 June 2018 The ship also sports two 29,500 horsepower turbine engines assembled, inspected and tested at GE Aviation's Evendale plant. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "New USS Cincinnati Navy ship will be christened Saturday," 2 May 2018 The titanium alloy blade careened through the turbine engine and protective cowling with devastating force. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "How passengers, pilots kept crippled Southwest Flight 1380 from turning deadlier," 22 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about turbine

Statistics for turbine

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for turbine

The first known use of turbine was in 1842

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for turbine

turbine

noun

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

turbine

noun
tur·​bine | \ˈtər-bən \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on turbine

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

WORD OF THE DAY

noxious or harmful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a-traditional-thanksgiving-dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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