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 The common shaft on which the exhaust turbine spins the compressor also carries an electric motor. K.c. Colwell, Car and Driver, "Mercedes, AMG, and Garrett Bringing E-Turbos to Production," 17 June 2020 Fewer new aircraft means fewer new jet engines, including those containing turbine frames and airfoils manufactured by Howmet. David J. Lynch, Anchorage Daily News, "Ripple effects of downturn show pandemic’s early economic toll was just the beginning," 15 June 2020 Press a button on the DBS's dash, and its starter motor spins the V-12 with a turbine-like whirr. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, "2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Is a Graceful Rocket," 27 May 2020 The deal may include the rehabilitation of turbines on the Inga I and II dams that would return about 650 megawatts of power to the grid, Eric Amoussouga, GE’s chief executive officer for francophone Africa, told reporters. Michael Kavanagh, Bloomberg.com, "GE in Talks on $1.8 Billion of Congo Energy, Health Projects," 8 May 2020 Error 0: Service Sector: Halliburton furloughs 3,500 employees amid falling oil prices Many of the company's turbines are made in Italy, a European nation dealing with more than 35,000 cases of the deadly virus. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, "Baker Hughes issues work from home order," 19 Mar. 2020 White turbines loom in the hills above the valley: the county now produces more wind power than any other county in Washington. Charles Bethea, The New Yorker, "A Coronavirus Turf War in Klickitat County," 17 May 2020 Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, which makes turbines for the A330, fell to a four-year low after Citi analysts estimated that the production cutback lopped about 20 pence per share in fair value from the price of the British company’s shares. Charlotte Ryan, Bloomberg.com, "Airbus Weighs A330 Output Cut After Top Buyer Seeks Deferral," 10 May 2020 The company makes underwater turbines ranging between two and four meters in diameter. Nell Lewis, CNN, "How Australia could harness its tides for energy," 7 May 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

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Turbine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turbine. Accessed 10 Jul. 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with turbine

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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