- a machine for converting thermal energy into mechanical energy or power to produce force and motion.
- a railroad locomotive.
- a fire engine.
- any mechanical contrivance.
- a machine or instrument used in warfare, as a battering ram, catapult, or piece of artillery.
- Obsolete. an instrument of torture, especially the rack.
- any machine designed to convert energy, esp heat energy, into mechanical worka steam engine; a petrol engine
- a railway locomotive
- (as modifier)the engine cab
- military any of various pieces of equipment formerly used in warfare, such as a battering ram or gun
- obsolete any instrument or deviceengines of torture
c.1300, “mechanical device,” also “skill, craft,” from Old French engin “skill, cleverness,” also “trick, deceit, stratagem; war machine” (12c.), from Latin ingenium “inborn qualities, talent” (see ingenious). At first meaning a trick or device, or any machine (especially military); sense of “device that converts energy to mechanical power” is 18c., especially of steam engines.
- A machine that turns energy into mechanical force or motion, especially one that gets its energy from a source of heat, such as the burning of a fuel. The efficiency of an engine is the ratio between the kinetic energy produced by the machine and the energy needed to produce it. See more at internal-combustion engine steam engine. See also motor.