engine

[ en-juh n ]
/ ˈɛn dʒən /

noun

a machine for converting thermal energy into mechanical energy or power to produce force and motion.
a railroad locomotive.
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.

Origin of engine

1250–1300; Middle English engin < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin ingenium nature, innate quality, especially mental power, hence a clever invention, equivalent to in- in-2 + -genium, equivalent to gen- begetting (see kin) + -ium -ium

Related forms

en·gine·less, adjectivemul·ti·en·gine, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for engine

British Dictionary definitions for engine

engine

/ (ˈɛndʒɪn) /

noun

any machine designed to convert energy, esp heat energy, into mechanical worka steam engine; a petrol engine
  1. a railway locomotive
  2. (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

Word Origin for engine

C13: from Old French engin, from Latin ingenium nature, talent, ingenious contrivance, from in- ² + -genium, related to gignere to beget, produce
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Science definitions for engine

engine

[ ĕnjĭn ]

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.