engine

\ \ [13] The underlying etymological meaning of engine is ‘natural talent’. It comes ultimately from Latin ingenium (source also of English ingenious) which was formed from the base *gen- (as in genetic) denoting ‘reproduction’ and meant literally ‘skill or aptitude one was born with’. Abstract meanings related to this (such as ‘ingenuity’ and ‘genius’) have now died out in English (which acquired the word via Old French engin), but what remains is a more specific strand of meaning in the Latin word – ‘clever device, contrivance’.
\ \ Originally this was an abstract concept (often used in a bad sense ‘trick, cunning ruse’), but as early as about 1300 there is evidence of a more concrete application in English to a ‘mechanical device’. The word’s modern use for ‘machine producing motion’ originates in its early 19thcentury application to the steam engine. Engineer [14] comes via Old French engigneor from medieval Latin ingeniātōr, a derivative of the verb ingeniārecontrive’, which in turn came from ingenium.
\ \ Cf.GIN, INGENIOUS

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Engine — En gine ([e^]n j[i^]n), n. [F. engin skill, machine, engine, L. ingenium natural capacity, invention; in in + the root of gignere to produce. See {Genius}, and cf. {Ingenious}, {Gin} a snare.] 1. Note: (Pronounced, in this sense, [e^]n*j[=e]n .)… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • engine — UK US /ˈendʒɪn/ noun [C] ► 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 …   Financial and business terms

  • Engine — En gine, v. t. 1. To assault with an engine. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] To engine and batter our walls. T. Adams. [1913 Webster] 2. To equip with an engine; said especially of steam vessels; as, vessels are often built by one firm and engined by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Engine —   [dt. »Maschine, Motor«], zentraler Teil eines Programms für grundlegende Teilaufgaben (z. B. Grafik Engine zur Ausgabe der Grafikdaten). Manchmal auch verkürzt für »Search Engine« (Suchmaschine) gebraucht …   Universal-Lexikon

  • engine — ► NOUN 1) a machine with moving parts that converts power into motion. 2) (also railway engine) a locomotive. 3) historical a mechanical device or instrument, especially one used in warfare: a siege engine. DERIVATIVES engined adjective… …   English terms dictionary

  • enginé — Enginé, En Oolin, pour Ensorcelé, Enchanté, Charmé, Fascinatus. Ainsi dit on par metaphore, Il est bien enginé de cette femme, Perbelle captus est …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • engine — [en′jən] n. [ME engin, native talent, hence something produced by this < OFr < L ingenium, natural ability, genius < in , in + base of gignere, to beget: see GENUS] 1. any machine that uses energy to develop mechanical power; esp., a… …   English World dictionary

  • engine — c.1300, mechanical device, also skill, craft, from O.Fr. engin skill, cleverness, also trick, deceit, stratagem; war machine (12c.), from L. ingenium inborn qualities, talent (see INGENIOUS (Cf. ingenious)). At first meaning a trick or device, or …   Etymology dictionary

  • engine — *machine, mechanism, machinery, apparatus, motor …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • engine — [n] device that drives a machine agent, apparatus, appliance, barrel, contrivance, cylinder, diesel, dynamo, fan, generator, horses*, implement, instrument, means, mechanism, motor, piston, pot*, powerhouse, power plant, power train, putt putt*,… …   New thesaurus

  • Engine — This article is about a machine to convert energy into useful mechanical motion. For other uses of engine, see Engine (disambiguation). For other uses of motor, see Motor (disambiguation). A V6 internal combustion engine from a Mercedes car An… …   Wikipedia

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