Denotation vs. Connotation

steam engine

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 of steam engine
Related forms
steam-engine, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for steam-engine
Historical Examples
  • This is said of a steam-engine if reversed, to propel the vessel astern.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • If God be not, then steam-engine and flower are in the same category.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • The want of the steam-engine vastly augments the cost of its manufacture.

  • Let us suppose ourselves to be in a building in which a steam-engine is at work.

    The Machinery of the Universe Amos Emerson Dolbear
  • That part of a steam-engine in which the steam is utilized to drive the piston.

  • James Watt, the great improver of the steam-engine, died on the 25th of August, 1819.

    "Stops" Paul Allardyce
  • In recent times there has been a tendency to give to this steam-engine of Hero something more than full meed of appreciation.

  • Do not tell me that the people here understand the steam-engine,—pray do not!

    Paul Patoff F. Marion Crawford
  • A pipe leading from the bottom of a steam-cylinder to the upper part of the condenser in a steam-engine.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • They might as well have tried to work a steam-engine on moral reasons.

    Short Studies on Great Subjects James Anthony Froude
British Dictionary definitions for steam-engine


an engine that uses the thermal energy of steam to produce mechanical work, esp one in which steam from a boiler is expanded in a cylinder to drive a reciprocating piston
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 steam-engine

steam engine


1751; earlier in the same sense was fire engine, atmospheric engine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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steam-engine in Science
steam engine  

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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