One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A disc or short cylinder fitting closely within a tube in which it moves up and down against a liquid or gas, used in an internal combustion engine to derive motion, or in a pump to impart motion.
- ‘The stroke is the distance that the piston moves up and down.’
- ‘The resulting explosions of fuel and air drive the pistons which turn the crankshaft.’
- ‘The piston in its cylinder rocked, trembled, didn't move.’
- ‘A hydraulic hammer is basically a hydraulically powered reciprocating piston inside of a body.’
- ‘The force of the resulting explosion pushes the piston down the cylinder for the exhaust stroke.’
- ‘The bore is often pitted and the gas piston is usually corroded.’
- ‘The resulting explosion pushes a piston, which is attached to a connecting rod.’
- ‘Besides leaving salt deposits, rusting internal parts and causing valve damage, water in an engine also makes short work of pistons and cylinders.’
- ‘Then the piston moves back up to compress this fuel/air mixture.’
- ‘Modified piston valves were also fitted to counteract the high coal consumption as the originals became worn.’
- ‘The central control circuit then sends a control signal to the driver's circuit for the accumulator piston.’
- ‘Adkins' solution was to affix his gas piston to the standard recoil spring plug.’
- ‘Jet engines are crucial: They're faster than piston engines and far safer.’
- ‘Another system uses hydraulic pistons that mount to a wood platform.’
- ‘The cylinders have to be right and their fit with the piston rings perfect.’
- ‘The five mobile panels (one flap, four sliding) are activated by hydraulic pistons.’
- ‘The engine's camshaft drives the pump pistons through a roll rocker arm.’
- ‘The aluminum block has ductile iron cylinder liners and is filled with JE pistons.’
- ‘Each explosion would release enough force to push the piston.’
- ‘When the trigger is pulled, the compressed air expands and drives the piston forward.’
- 1.1 A valve in a brass musical instrument in the form of a piston, depressed to alter the pitch of a note.
- ‘The valves and pistons on a trumpet are very delicate - and essential.’
- ‘It is in C, a tone above the euphonium, and reaches the lowest notes with the aid of six pistons; its upward range is much greater than that of the larger tubas.’
Early 18th century: from French, from Italian pistone, variant of pestone ‘large pestle’, augmentative of pestello ‘pestle’.
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