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furnace

[fur-nis] /ˈfɜr nɪs/
noun
1.
a structure or apparatus in which heat may be generated, as for heating houses, smelting ores, or producing steam.
2.
a place characterized by intense heat:
The volcano was a seething furnace.
3.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Fornax.
verb (used with object), furnaced, furnacing.
4.
to heat (a metal piece) in a furnace.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English furneis, furnais < Old French fornais, fournais < Latin fornāc- (stem of fornāx kiln, oven), akin to formus warm
Related forms
furnacelike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for furnace
  • Maintain your furnace or heating system to make sure it is running properly and efficiently.
  • The emissions are less than a residential heating furnace.
  • The hot air was allowed to rise through the ducts while the heavier cold air dropped down through return ducts to the furnace.
  • However my husband had to replace some of the natural gas piping to the furnace and immediately after that the smell went away.
  • They moved on to a pile of crucibles that had been removed from the furnace and allowed to cool.
  • We decided to wait until the furnace actually failed.
  • So skip the open-air furnace on the valley floor and visit two of the park's only oases.
  • The house has a hot-air oil furnace and three good-size wood-burning stoves.
  • These devices tended to be crude and inefficient, and boiled seawater above a stove or furnace.
  • If you live in an apartment, ask the superintendent to make sure that the furnace and circulator are operating properly.
British Dictionary definitions for furnace

furnace

/ˈfɜːnɪs/
noun
1.
an enclosed chamber in which heat is produced to generate steam, destroy refuse, smelt or refine ores, etc
2.
a very hot or stifling place
Derived Forms
furnace-like, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French fornais, from Latin fornax oven, furnace; related to Latin formus warm
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
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Word Origin and History for furnace
n.

early 13c., from Old French fornaise "oven, furnace" (12c.), from Latin fornacem (nominative fornax) "an oven, kiln," related to fornus, furnus "oven," and to formus "warm," from PIE root *ghwer- "warm" (cf. Greek thermos, Old English wearm; see warm (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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furnace in the Bible

(1.) Chald. attun, a large furnace with a wide open mouth, at the top of which materials were cast in (Dan. 3:22, 23; comp. Jer. 29:22). This furnace would be in constant requisition, for the Babylonians disposed of their dead by cremation, as did also the Accadians who invaded Mesopotamia. (2.) Heb. kibshan, a smelting furnace (Gen. 19:28), also a lime-kiln (Isa. 33:12; Amos 2:1). (3.) Heb. kur, a refining furnace (Prov. 17:3; 27:21; Ezek. 22:18). (4.) Heb. alil, a crucible; only used in Ps. 12:6. (5.) Heb. tannur, oven for baking bread (Gen. 15:17; Isa. 31:9; Neh. 3:11). It was a large pot, narrowing towards the top. When it was heated by a fire made within, the dough was spread over the heated surface, and thus was baked. "A smoking furnace and a burning lamp" (Gen. 15:17), the symbol of the presence of the Almighty, passed between the divided pieces of Abraham's sacrifice in ratification of the covenant God made with him. (See OVEN.) (6.) Gr. kamnos, a furnace, kiln, or oven (Matt. 13:42, 50; Rev. 1:15; 9:2).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Article for furnace

structure in which useful heat is produced by combustion or other means. Historically, the furnace grew out of the fireplace and stove, following the availability of coal for heating. A coal furnace is made up of several elements: a chamber containing a grate on which combustion takes place and through which ashes drop for disposal; a chimney to carry away smoke and provide a draft of air; another source of air supply to help burn volatile gases and hydrocarbons; and a metal surface over which the hot gases pass and which transfers heat to circulating water or air. Coal furnaces are still widely used in industry, where they are usually equipped with mechanical stokers.

Learn more about furnace with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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