Definition of furnace in English:



  • 1An enclosed structure in which material can be heated to very high temperatures, e.g. for smelting metals.

    • ‘‘Let's get it fired up,’ the man spoke, walking over to the furnace with a metal pole in his hands.’
    • ‘The charging platform was at a height of 30 meters, and the blast furnace men filled furnaces from there, and controlled the haulage system.’
    • ‘Electric furnaces provide the optimum temperature uniformity of 6°C and the freedom from contamination required for this work.’
    • ‘These alloys must be melted carefully under an oxidizing atmosphere and heated to the proper furnace temperature.’
    • ‘Bricks have always been used for years by the construction industry, and for lining of ore smelting furnaces.’
    • ‘Local metallurgy evolved into bigger factories and British technology, including English smelting furnaces and imported coal, was used intensively.’
    • ‘A second limey slag is used to remove sulphur and to deoxidise the metal in the furnace.’
    • ‘The title of this album might conjure images of a blacksmith plying his trade: pulling metal from a seething furnace and banging it into a useful shape.’
    • ‘The metals are brought to a suitable temperature in a furnace, and the weld is achieved by hammering or other mechanical pressure.’
    • ‘When the temperature inside the furnace reached about 1100°C (by pumping with hand bellows) the copper melted and flowed to the bottom where it was drawn out and cast into ingots.’
    • ‘Other methods consist of superheating the molten metals in a separate furnace, whereby the graphite is greatly refined.’
    • ‘At temperatures outside of a furnace, steel doesn't have any appreciable creep.’
    • ‘Billet workers - who feed scrap metal into furnaces and dispatch steel orders - are demanding a decent rise.’
    • ‘Belonging to a more elite corps, they promoted the railway by actively participating in the modernisation of the steel industry, creating English-style forges and a renaissance in smelting furnaces.’
    • ‘In order to eliminate harmful dioxin fumes emitted in the burning process, temperatures in the furnaces are raised to 800 degrees Celsius, the decomposition point of dioxin.’
    • ‘The primary materials recycled in sweat furnaces are lead-coaled power and communications cable, lead sheet and pipe, and other products that contain lead as a coating or as part of a complex part.’
    • ‘Continuous power was required to maintain the temperature in a furnace in which metal was melted.’
    • ‘Even where old, proven recipes were used, wildly differing results could be obtained depending on the materials and proportions employed and the temperature of the furnace.’
    • ‘The usual procedure is to load the furnace and then begin the soaking period when the loaded furnace reaches the desired temperature.’
    • ‘The coal mines and hot metal furnaces that transformed the region into Europe's industrial engine a century ago have long since shut down, destroying 500,000 jobs.’
    1. 1.1North American An appliance fired by gas or oil in which air or water is heated to be circulated throughout a building in a heating system.
      • ‘You can be seriously burned when trying to light a furnace or water heater.’
      • ‘If your furnace or heating system uses filters, make sure you clean or check them monthly.’
      • ‘Turn off all combustion appliances such as gas burning furnaces and water heaters.’
      • ‘These appliances include space heaters, gas ranges and ovens, furnaces, gas water heaters, gas clothes dryers, wood or coal-burning stoves, and fireplaces.’
      • ‘When installing gas fireplaces, water heaters and furnaces, select appliances with sealed combustion chambers.’
      • ‘Keep furnaces and gas water heaters clear of piled-up boxes or any other combustibles.’
      • ‘Gas stoves, water heaters, furnaces and fireplaces can all release this odorless gas if they aren't properly maintained.’
      • ‘In fact, since Thanksgiving I've had the gas company here three times and the plumber twice and have imposed on the good graces of friends to fix the furnace and light the water heater.’
      • ‘Fuel burning appliance such as furnaces, hot water heaters, and stoves should be inspected annually and identified any repair problems.’
      • ‘The washer and dryer were in the same room as the furnace and water heater.’
      • ‘This means there is power, but only enough to run the furnace and appliances.’
      • ‘To the average person this means fuel-burning furnaces, ovens, water heaters, clothes dryers, refrigerators, or even fire places are potential threats.’
      • ‘In American homes, natural gas is used in furnaces, stoves, water heaters, clothes dryers, and other appliances.’
      • ‘Household sources of carbon monoxide include room heaters, furnaces, charcoal grills, ranges, ovens, water heaters, autos in attached garages, and fireplaces.’
      • ‘Heating ducts also channel warm air from the furnace into the water tank area, to keep things from freezing.’
      • ‘The couple lost a washer, dryer, furnace and hot water tank, she said.’
      • ‘Water heaters and furnaces should be concealed by screens or closets but kept accessible.’
      • ‘Following the weekend cold snap, local heating and plumbing companies reported being swamped with calls about broken furnaces and frozen water pipes.’
      • ‘Heating sources - including furnaces, wood stoves and fireplaces - must be checked to ensure energy efficiency.’
      • ‘Have major appliances, such as furnaces, heat pumps and central air conditioners, inspected and cleaned regularly by a professional, especially before seasonal use.’
    2. 1.2 Used to describe a very hot place.
      ‘her car was a furnace’


Middle English: from Old French fornais(e), from Latin fornax, fornac-, from fornus ‘oven’.