steam engine

noun
an engine worked by steam, typically one in which a sliding piston in a cylinder is moved by the expansive action of the steam generated in a boiler.

Origin:
1745–55

steam-engine, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
steam engine  


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An engine in which the energy of hot steam is converted into mechanical power, especially an engine in which the force of expanding steam is used to drive one or more pistons. The source of the steam is typically external to the part of the machine that converts the steam energy into mechanical energy. Compare internal-combustion engine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The core of a steam engine is a cylinder that is sealed at one end and has a
  moving piston at the other.
But others were wary of the steam engine, which was frequently caricatured as a
  fiery dragon.
As the water inside the coils is superheated the steam is piped to a radial
  steam engine, which consists of six pistons.
Soon, he was maintaining a steam engine for a nearby farmer.
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