furnace

[fur-nis]
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; Middle English furneis, furnais < Old French fornais, fournais < Latin fornāc- (stem of fornāx kiln, oven), akin to formus warm

furnacelike, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
furnace (ˈfɜːnɪs)
 
n
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
 
[C13: from Old French fornais, from Latin fornax oven, furnace; related to Latin formus warm]
 
'furnace-like
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

furnace
early 13c., from O.Fr. fornais, from L. fornacem (nom. fornax) "an oven, kiln," related to fornus, furnus "oven," and to formus "warm," from PIE base *ghworm- "warm" (cf. Gk. thermos, O.E. wearm; see warm).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Furnace definition


(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 Britannica
Encyclopedia

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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Example sentences
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.
Images for furnace
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