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
• • •
▪ 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.
The newer model has a more powerful engine.
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.