a disk or cylindrical part tightly fitting and moving within a cylinder, either to compress or move a fluid collected in the cylinder, as air or water, or to transform energy imparted by a fluid entering or expanding inside the cylinder, as compressed air, explosive gases, or steam, into a rectilinear motion usually transformed into rotary motion by means of a connecting rod.
a pumplike valve used to change the pitch in a cornet or the like.
- pis·ton·like, adjective
- sub·pis·ton, noun
Other definitions for Piston (2 of 2)
Walter, 1894–1976, U.S. composer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use piston in a sentence
Four I had more fun on just in terms of getting the pistons moving on the story—a lot less chatter, and more movement.True Detective Director Cary Fukunaga’s Journey from Pro Snowboarder to Hollywood’s Most Wanted | Marlow Stern | February 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
And you betcha, the Pistons lost to the Clippers that night.Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Yenter & More Celebrities’ Week in Hell | Anna Klassen | March 16, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Metal buttons or pistons located on the toe piece of the pedal-board were introduced by the ingenious Casavant of Canada.
These toe-pistons form an additional and most convenient means for bringing the stops into and out of action.
In large organs two or three adjustable toe pistons are also provided to give independent control of the Pedal organ.
British Dictionary definitions for piston
a disc or cylindrical part that slides to and fro in a hollow cylinder. In an internal-combustion engine it is forced to move by the expanding gases in the cylinder head and is attached by a pivoted connecting rod to a crankshaft or flywheel, thus converting reciprocating motion into rotation
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
Scientific definitions for piston
A solid cylinder or disk that fits snugly into a hollow cylinder and moves back and forth under the pressure of a fluid (typically a hot gas formed by combustion, as in many engines), or moves or compresses a fluid, as in a pump or compressor.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.