- an external-combustion engine in which heat from outside the cylinders causes air confined in the cylinders to expand and drive the pistons.
Origin of Stirling engine
1895–1900; after Robert Stirling (died 1878), Scottish engineer
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- an external-combustion engine that uses air or an inert gas as the working fluid operating on a highly efficient thermodynamic cycle (the Stirling cycle)
named after Robert Stirling (1790–1878), Scottish minister who invented it