Definition of steam engine in US English:

steam engine


  • 1An engine that uses the expansion or rapid condensation of steam to generate power.

    • ‘Earlier books described it as a hydrodynamic system or a steam engine.’
    • ‘The Lord Stewart is listed as having two boilers and a three-cylinder steam engine.’
    • ‘There is enough solid machinery inside to hold the hull up and provide a simple but low swimthrough, giving access to the crankshaft and connecting rods from the steam engine.’
    • ‘In 1852 he flew 27 km. in a dirigible, powered by a steam engine.’
    • ‘But the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine soon supplanted the steam engine in automotive technology.’
    • ‘The sails were removed in 1866 and the mill was then powered by a coal-fired steam engine.’
    • ‘All of the machinery was driven by a steam engine in the basement of the machine shop.’
    • ‘The steam engine was not originally developed to power locomotives.’
    • ‘Power came from a three-cylinder triple expansion steam engine, supplied by three boilers developing 2200 horsepower and driving a single screw.’
    • ‘Small steam engines and possibly diesel engines to power generators and hydraulic systems.’
    • ‘Electricity to this cable way was generated on the south bank by a potable steam engine supplied by a Newcastle company.’
    • ‘Looking down, I see scraps of wreckage, the crankshaft of a steam engine, odd bits of metal and a winch, but too deep for this late in the dive.’
    • ‘The paddle-wheels are joined across the ship by the driveshaft, which in the centre of the ship becomes the crankshaft of the transverse steam engine.’
    • ‘Other improvements followed - such as a steam engine in 1872 and a water turbine in 1888.’
    • ‘Adam recognized the sound of an engine that was much more sophisticated than that of a steam engine.’
    • ‘He also refused to use a crank - to translate the reciprocal motion of the steam engine into the rotary motion required by most machines - because someone else had already mentioned it in another patent.’
    • ‘Waterpower and later steam power were cheap and available, and so American business turned to waterwheel and steam engine to drive machinery.’
    • ‘As a wreck site it's unimpressive: a small boiler and a steam engine inside a hull that retains its original outline.’
    • ‘Structures found include a brick-lined pit which housed a wheel, probably driven by a steam engine, and thought to have been used for powering the foundry bellows.’
    • ‘John Blenkinsop invented a steam engine which had cogs on one of its wheels.’
    1. 1.1 A steam locomotive.
      • ‘A steam engine, authentic freight train and a classic American diner, it doesn't get much better than this.’
      • ‘This year the event had a railway theme, with a children's fancy dress contest and art competition, and train rides for youngsters on a miniature railway with a real steam engine running on coal.’
      • ‘The locomotive, the first steam engine to reach 100 mph and the first to travel non-stop from Edinburgh to London, has attracted worldwide interest.’
      • ‘At Utica, a railroad historical society has a former New York Central steam engine on display.’
      • ‘The Bahamas Locomotive Society is named after the Bahamas steam engine, one of the main locomotives in the collection.’
      • ‘The ‘North Toronto’ was once switched by a 6920 series - 8 - steam engine so heavy was the work.’
      • ‘Richard Branson praised the Yorkshire Post and our readers for playing an ‘instrumental’ part in saving the Flying Scotsman steam engine for the nation.’
      • ‘These days when a steam engine pulls into the railway station it attracts a host of train spotters.’
      • ‘It was the perfection of the steam engine by George Stephenson in 1825 that converted the railway into a means of transporting heavy goods which would replace both road and canal.’
      • ‘The historic Flying Scotsman steam engine was today expected to resume a cross-Yorkshire rail service after its latest technical problem was repaired.’
      • ‘‘We organise courses and people come here from miles away for the thrill of being on the footplate of a steam engine,’ said Mr Vevers.’
      • ‘We walked around and took photos and video of the old steam engine on display.’
      • ‘Most people know that Richard Trevithick invented the first steam engine to run on rails and that Alexander Bell invented the telephone.’
      • ‘The steam engine with six bogies arrived from Shornur, through a metre-gauge track.’
      • ‘A world famous steam engine chugged into town for the Swindon Railway Convention.’
      • ‘With steam engine inventor Richard Trevithick settling in Dartford after his groundbreaking design, the town's museum has opened an exhibition called Transport in Time.’
      • ‘Once the ARROW departed, the steam engine would be run to the opposite end of the train it had just hauled from Grand Junction, in order to pull it back there.’
      • ‘Floral tributes from his family included one on the shape of a steam engine in his company's corporate colours of green and yellow.’
      • ‘Individuals can have key roles to play - Stephenson built the first steam engine, Rutherford split the atom, Fleming discovered penicillin.’
      • ‘We pass a steam engine and the depot as we leave town.’


steam engine

/ˈstēm ˌenjən/