[tur-bin, -bahyn]
See more synonyms for turbine on Thesaurus.com
  1. any of various machines having a rotor, usually with vanes or blades, driven by the pressure, momentum, or reactive thrust of a moving fluid, as steam, water, hot gases, or air, either occurring in the form of free jets or as a fluid passing through and entirely filling a housing around the rotor.

Origin of turbine

1815–25; < French < Latin turbin-, stem of turbō something that spins, e.g., top, spindle, whirlwind; akin to turbid
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for turbine

Contemporary Examples of turbine

  • Unfortunately for Crist, it will likely take a turbine engine to generate enough wind in his flagging sails to overtake Rubio.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Charlie Crist's Last Gasp

    Jim DeFede

    October 20, 2010

  • Ninety four percent of all daily commerce takes place because diesel and turbine engines deliver the goods.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Get Over the Oil Spill

    John Hofmeister

    June 23, 2010

Historical Examples of turbine

  • Are they after some more of dad's inventions because they didn't get his turbine motor?

  • And the boiler, of course, had emptied itself through the hole in the turbine.

    All Day September

    Roger Kuykendall

  • When the meteor pierced the turbine, the water in the condenser began to boil.

    All Day September

    Roger Kuykendall

  • This will considerably reduce the time the turbine requires to come to rest.

    Steam Turbines

    Hubert E. Collins

  • While the turbine is running, it should have a certain amount of careful attention.

    Steam Turbines

    Hubert E. Collins

British Dictionary definitions for turbine


  1. any of various types of machine in which the kinetic energy of a moving fluid is converted into mechanical energy by causing a bladed rotor to rotate. The moving fluid may be water, steam, air, or combustion products of a fuelSee also reaction turbine, impulse turbine, gas turbine

Word Origin for turbine

C19: from French, from Latin turbō whirlwind, from turbāre to throw into confusion
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

Word Origin and History for turbine

1838, from French turbine, from Latin turbinem (nominative turbo) "spinning top, eddy, whirlwind," related to turba "turmoil, crowd" (see turbid). Originally applied to a wheel spinning on a vertical axis, driven by falling water. Turbo in reference to gas turbine engines is attested from 1904. Turbocharger is from 1934. Aeronautic turboprop is attested from 1945, with second element short for propeller.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

turbine in Science


[tûrbĭn, -bīn′]
  1. Any of various machines in which the kinetic energy of a moving fluid, such as water, steam, or gas, is converted to rotary motion. Turbines are used in boat propulsion systems, hydroelectric power generators, and jet aircraft engines. See also gas turbine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.