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steam engine

an engine worked by steam, typically one in which a sliding piston in a cylinder is moved by the expansive action of the steam generated in a boiler.
Origin of steam engine
First recorded in 1745-55
Related forms
steam-engine, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for steam engine
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was eccentric and irregular in his habits and quite ignorant of the steam engine.

    The Age of Invention Holland Thompson
  • Old Pat was asleep way in back there and snorin' like a steam engine.

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It is operated by a belt from a steam engine used for other purposes as well.

    Rural Hygiene Henry N. Ogden
  • The necessary attendance on a steam engine, too, is very expensive.

    Rollo in Holland Jacob Abbott
  • One trouble with the steam engine as then built was that it was not uniform in motion.

    American Men of Mind Burton E. Stevenson
  • To vary this game, name one row a steam engine, another an automobile.

  • It is curious that the case is precisely the same with a steam engine.

    Rollo in London Jacob Abbott
  • He engraved his blast furnace, and the casting of a beam of a steam engine.

    Ariadne Florentina John Ruskin
Word Origin and History for steam engine

1751; earlier in the same sense was fire engine, atmospheric engine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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steam engine in Science
steam engine  

An engine in which the energy of hot steam is converted into mechanical power, especially an engine in which the force of expanding steam is used to drive one or more pistons. The source of the steam is typically external to the part of the machine that converts the steam energy into mechanical energy. Compare internal-combustion engine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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