Definition of screw engine in US English:

screw engine

noun

  • 1A device used for raising water by means of the rotation of a helical surface within a closely fitting duct; Archimedes' Screw. More fully "Archimedes screw engine", "Archimedean screw engine". Now historical and rare.

  • 2In a vessel: an engine that drives one or more screw propellers. Now rare and only in historical contexts.

Origin

Late 17th century (in an earlier sense). From screw + engine.

Pronunciation

screw engine

/ˈʃkruː ɛn(d)ʒ(ɪ)n/