Meaning of ENGINE in English

en ‧ gine S2 W2 /ˈendʒən, ˈendʒɪn/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: engin 'cleverness, machine' , from Latin ingenium 'abilities you are born with' ]

1 . the part of a vehicle that produces power to make it move ⇨ motor

start/switch on an engine

The engine won’t start.

stop/turn off/switch off an engine

He switched off the car’s engine and waited.

Is the engine running smoothly?

diesel/petrol etc engine

an old steam engine

We were stranded with engine trouble on a deserted highway.

2 . a vehicle that pulls a railway train

3 . [usually singular] formal something powerful that causes great changes in society

engine of change/growth etc

The Marshall Plan was the engine of post-war economic growth.

Rome’s deadly war engine

⇨ ↑ fire engine

• • •


■ verbs

▪ switch on/turn on/start an engine

I fastened my seat belt and turned on the engine.

▪ switch off/turn off/stop an engine

Maggie pulled over and switched off the engine.

▪ rev (up) an engine British English , gun an engine American English (=make an engine go very fast)

As the lights turned green, Chris gunned the engine and we surged forward.

▪ an engine runs

He parked outside the bank and kept the engine running.

▪ an engine idles/ticks over (=runs slowly while the vehicle, machine etc is not moving)

The taxi waited at the kerb, its engine idling noisily.

▪ an engine cuts out (=stops suddenly)

The engine keeps cutting out.

■ adjectives

▪ big/powerful

The newer model has a more powerful engine.

▪ small

The engine is small, so it's quite economical to run.

▪ a petrol/diesel engine

The van has a 2.5 litre diesel engine.

▪ a jet engine

the plane's powerful jet engines

▪ a car/motorbike etc engine

I heard the sound of a car engine in the distance.

■ engine + NOUN

▪ engine trouble (=problems with an engine)

When the boat developed engine trouble, the crew had to abandon ship.

▪ engine failure (=when an engine stops working suddenly)

Their aircraft suffered engine failure and crashed into the sea.

▪ engine capacity (=an engine's size or power)

The engine capacity of motorcycles ranges from 50cc to 1800cc.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.