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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for steam engine
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A steam engine was patented, in 1814, by Thomas Tindall, of Scarborough.

    Automobile Biographies Lyman Horace Weeks
  • To vary this game, name one row a steam engine, another an automobile.

  • So at last was born a steam engine that would work and multiply man's energies a thousandfold.

    The Age of Invention Holland Thompson
  • As we have seen, it was an atmospheric engine, in no sense a steam engine.

    James Watt Andrew Carnegie
  • When capitalism began, when it came with its steam engine and its power-loom, what was the first thing it did?

  • None at this time interested him so deeply as that of the steam engine.

    James Watt Andrew Carnegie
  • A steel wire and windlass worked by a steam engine was employed.

  • This marks one of the most important stages in the development of the steam engine.

    James Watt Andrew Carnegie
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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