a. A machine that converts energy into mechanical force or motion.
b. Such a machine distinguished from an electric, spring-driven, or hydraulic motor by its use of a fuel.
a. A mechanical appliance, instrument, or tool: engines of war.
b. An agent, instrument, or means of accomplishment.
3. A locomotive.
4. A fire engine.
5. Computers A search engine.
tr.v. en·gined, en·gin·ing, en·gines
To equip with an engine or engines.
[Middle English engin, skill, machine, from Old French, innate ability, from Latin ingenium; see genə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.