Definition of “engine” - English Dictionary

“engine” in British English

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enginenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈen.dʒɪn/ us /ˈen.dʒɪn/

A2 a machine that uses the energy from liquid fuel or steam to produce movement:

a jet engine
a car engine
My car's been having engine trouble recently.

also locomotive the part of a railway train that pulls it along

something that provides power, often economic power, for other things:

For much of the 19th century Britain was the workshop of the world and the engine of economic growth.

More examples

  • Tell the mechanic that the engine was making a strange grinding noise.
  • It's fairly simple to modify the engine to run on lead-free fuel.
  • The plane's engine failed and the pilot was forced to bail out.
  • My car engine overheated because the water had leaked out of the radiator.
  • The boat was about a mile from the shore when the engine suddenly died.

(Definition of “engine” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“engine” in American English

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enginenoun [ C ]

us /ˈen·dʒən/

a machine that uses the energy from fuel or steam to produce movement:

The car has a four-cylinder engine.
fig. The health-care industry has been an engine of growth.
The plane was forced to land because of engine problems.

An engine (also also locomotive) is a separate part of a train that pulls the other parts of the train.

(Definition of “engine” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“engine” in Business English

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enginenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈendʒɪn/ us

a machine that uses energy to produce movement:

a jet engine
a car/aircraft engine

something that makes something happen, or that influences it strongly:

For much of the 19th century Britain was the workshop of the world and the engine of economic growth.

IT a computer program that performs a particular task:

This is a new payment engine that can handle online payments securely.
See also

(Definition of “engine” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)