What does engine mean?

Definitions for engine
ˈɛn dʒənen·gine

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word engine.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. enginenoun

    motor that converts thermal energy to mechanical work

  2. enginenoun

    something used to achieve a purpose

    "an engine of change"

  3. locomotive, engine, locomotive engine, railway locomotivenoun

    a wheeled vehicle consisting of a self-propelled engine that is used to draw trains along railway tracks

  4. enginenoun

    an instrument or machine that is used in warfare, such as a battering ram, catapult, artillery piece, etc.

    "medieval engines of war"


  1. enginenoun

    Cunning, trickery.

  2. enginenoun

    The result of cunning; a plot, a scheme.

  3. enginenoun

    A device to convert energy into useful mechanical motion, especially heat energy

  4. enginenoun

    A powered locomotive used for pulling cars on railways.

  5. enginenoun

    A person or group of people which influence a larger group.

  6. enginenoun

    the brain or heart.

  7. enginenoun

    A software system, not a complete program, responsible for a technical task (as in layout engine, physics engine).

  8. engineverb

    To assault with an engine.

    To engine and batter our walls. uE00027131uE001 T. Adams.

  9. engineverb

    To equip with an engine; said especially of steam vessels.

    Vessels are often built by one firm and engined by another.

  10. Etymology: From engin, from engin, from ingenium, from ingenitum, past participle of ingigno; see ingenious. Engine originally meant 'ingenuity, cunning' which eventually developed into meaning 'the product of ingenuity, a plot or snare' and 'tool, weapon'.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. ENGINEnoun

    Etymology: engin, French; ingegno, Italian.

    This is our engine, towers that overthrows;
    Our spear that hurts, our sword that wounds our foes. Edward Fairfax.

    The sword, the arrow, the gun, with many terrible engines of death, will be well employed. Walter Raleigh, Essays.

    He takes the scissars, and extends
    The little engine on his fingers ends. Alexander Pope, Rape of the Lock.

    Some cut the pipes, and some the engines play;
    And some, more bold, mount ladders to the fire. Dryden.

    Prayer must be divine and heavenly, which the devil with all his engines so violently opposeth. Brian Duppa, Rules for Devotion.

    They had th’ especial engines been, to rear
    His fortunes up into the state they were.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Enginenoun

    (Pronounced, in this sense, ////.) Natural capacity; ability; skill

  2. Enginenoun

    anything used to effect a purpose; any device or contrivance; an agent

  3. Enginenoun

    any instrument by which any effect is produced; especially, an instrument or machine of war or torture

  4. Enginenoun

    a compound machine by which any physical power is applied to produce a given physical effect

  5. Engineverb

    to assault with an engine

  6. Engineverb

    to equip with an engine; -- said especially of steam vessels; as, vessels are often built by one firm and engined by another

  7. Engineverb

    (Pronounced, in this sense, /////.) To rack; to torture

  8. Etymology: [F. engin skill, machine, engine, L. ingenium natural capacity, invention; in in + the root of gignere to produce. See Genius, and cf. Ingenious, Gin a snare.]


  1. Engine

    An engine or motor is a machine designed to convert energy into useful mechanical motion. Heat engines, including internal combustion engines and external combustion engines burn a fuel to create heat, which then creates motion. Electric motors convert electrical energy into mechanical motion, pneumatic motors use compressed air and others—such as clockwork motors in wind-up toys—use elastic energy. In biological systems, molecular motors, like myosins in muscles, use chemical energy to create motion.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Engine

    en′jin, n. a complex and powerful machine, esp. a prime mover: a military machine: anything used to effect a purpose: a device: contrivance: (obs.) ability, genius.—v.t. to contrive: to put into action.—ns. En′gine-driv′er, one who manages an engine, esp. who drives a locomotive; Engineer′, an engine maker or manager: one who directs works and engines: a soldier belonging to the division of the army called Engineers, consisting of men trained to engineering work.—v.i. to act as an engineer.—v.t. to arrange, contrive.—ns. Engineer′ing, the art or profession of an engineer; En′gine-man, one who drives an engine; En′gine-room, the room in a vessel in which the engines are placed; En′ginery, the art or business of managing engines: engines collectively: machinery; En′gine-turn′ing, a kind of ornament made by a rose-engine, as on the backs of watches, &c.—Civil engineer (see Civil). [O. Fr. engin—L. ingenium, skill. See Ingenious.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. engine

    1. A piece of hardware that encapsulates some function but can't be used without some kind of front end. Today we have, especially, print engine: the guts of a laser printer. 2. An analogous piece of software; notionally, one that does a lot of noisy crunching, such as a database engine.The hacker senses of engine are actually close to its original, pre-Industrial-Revolution sense of a skill, clever device, or instrument (the word is cognate to ‘ingenuity’). This sense had not been completely eclipsed by the modern connotation of power-transducing machinery in Charles Babbage's time, which explains why he named the stored-program computer that he designed in 1844 the Analytical Engine.

Editors Contribution

  1. engine

    A type of machine created and designed in various colors, materials, mechanisms, shapes, sizes and styles.

    The engine worked so effectively.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 20, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. engine

    Song lyrics by engine -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by engine on the Lyrics.com website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'engine' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2141

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'engine' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1710

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'engine' in Nouns Frequency: #680

How to pronounce engine?

How to say engine in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of engine in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of engine in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of engine in a Sentence

  1. Charles Love:

    I talk often about the need to get away from politics – keep civics and politics different, the engine in the machine is different from whether it has a fancy looking chassis. We’re all arguing over what the outside of the car should look like, and not the functions of the car.

  2. Francois Canonica:

    There was no bad odour at the time, Swiss banks and their secrecy were an engine of the Swiss economy in the same vein as chocolates and watch-making.

  3. Luis Campana:

    It was a real scare, the engine exploded. As we were getting out of the plane down the chute, the smoke was beginning to enter and the engine was in flames.

  4. Stephen Fredrick:

    It appears that it could have had a single-engine flameout, it could have had a dual-engine flameout, those are things we're going to learn.

  5. Naren Shaam:

    It's a full-service solution. It's not just a meta search engine that is discovery based.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for engine

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    having a build with little fat or muscle but with long limbs
    • A. contagious
    • B. incumbent
    • C. eloquent
    • D. ectomorphic

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