from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An engine that converts the heat energy of pressurized steam into mechanical energy, especially one in which steam drives a piston in a closed cylinder.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A piston engine driven by steam (as contrasted, for example, with a steam turbine).
  • n. Any heat engine that uses steam as its primary working fluid to do mechanical work.
  • n. A steam locomotive.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • An engine moved by steam.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An engine in which the mechanical force arising from the elasticity and expansive action of steam, or from its property of rapid condensation, or from the combination of the two, is made available as a motive power.
  • n. A compound steam-engine.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. external-combustion engine in which heat is used to raise steam which either turns a turbine or forces a piston to move up and down in a cylinder


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Belching threateningly, the steam engine gathered its en - ergies for the start.

    Manuscript Draft: Walter Reed: Doctor in Uniform, by Laura Wood, [19 -- ]

  • Page 275 second thought we remember that all those mighty works in art had humble beginnings. the teakettle is mother of the gigantic steam engine that is capable of running a mile in thirty seconds.

    Unwritten History

  • It was deep night, but the canalmen were hard at work, using their noisy steam engine to pump water into the lock.

    He Don't Know Him

  • They run the steam engine on sawmill offcuts and the cherry laurel they are gradually clearing from the underwood.


  • The tiny steam engine behind the car tootled, and I turned to see its miniature drive-shaft move; then the car was rolling past us and Julia moaned — we could have been on it!

    Time and Again

  • Dr. Anderson's gone to Cunjee, but he's coming back in his steam engine to stay all night; an 'your pa's having his dinner, which he needs it, poor man.

    A Little Bush Maid

  • La Fayette stood at the rail until the lock was filled and the fires of the steam engine were allowed to die.

    He Don't Know Him

  • In fact the history of the steam engine and of heat engines generally, must be divided into two distinct periods, before and after Carnot.


  • I worked at it like a stoker on the footplate of a steam engine and resolved one day to build myself a wood-fired sauna, even making a few soggy drawings of the plan and elevation.


  • The first thing we saw when we arrived was the enormous vintage Britannia steam engine the community uses to drive a sawmill with a twenty-foot bench housed in a barn they have insulated for sound with dozens of mattresses in the roof and straw-bales for walls.



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