Dictionary > Engine


1. (pronounced, in this sense,) natural capacity; ability; skill. A man hath sapiences three, memory, engine, and intellect also. (Chaucer)
2. Anything used to effect a purpose; any device or contrivance; an agent. You see the ways the fisherman doth take to catch the fish; what engines doth he make? (Bunyan) Their promises, enticements, oaths, tokens, and all these engines of lust. (Shak)
3. Any instrument by which any effect is produced; especially, an instrument or machine of war or torture. Terrible engines of death.
4. (Science: machinery) a compound machine by which any physical power is applied to produce a given physical effect. Engine driver, one who manages an engine; specifically, the engineer of a locomotive. Engine lathe.
a method of ornamentation by means of a rose engine.
The term engine is more commonly applied to massive machines, or to those giving power, or which produce some difficult result. Engines, as motors, are distinguished according to the source of power, as steam engine, air engine, electromagnetic engine; or the purpose on account of which the power is applied, as fire engine, pumping engine, locomotive engine; or some peculiarity of construction or operation, as single-acting or double-acting engine, high-pressure or low-pressure engine, condensing engine, etc.
Origin: f. Engin skill, machine, engine, L. Ingenium natural capacity, invention; in in – the root of gigne
re to produce. See genius, and cf. Ingenious, gin a snare.

You will also like...

Genetic engineering
Genetic Engineering Advantages & Disadvantages

This tutorial presents the benefits and the possible adverse eventualities of genetic engineering. Know more about this ..

Types and Causes of Brain Damage
Types and Causes of Brain Damage

This tutorial describes the different types and causes of brain damage. Find out how genetics, physical injury, lack of ..

Buttress roots

This study guide tackles plant roots in greater detail. It delves into the development of plant roots, the root structur..

Photosynthesis and respiration
Plant Metabolism

Plants are responsible for incredible feats of molecular transformation. Plant processes, such as photosynthesis, photop..

Flowers and tiny fruits of the pomegranate plant
Fruits, Flowers, and Seeds

This tutorial deals with the structure and function of flowers, fruits, and seeds. Also included here are the types of f..

Homo Species
The Homo Species

The evolution of the species of the genus "Homo" led to the emergence of modern humans. Find out more about human evolut..