an engine worked by steam, typically one in which a sliding piston in a cylinder is moved by the expansive action of the steam generated in a boiler.
an engine that uses the thermal energy of steam to produce mechanical work, esp one in which steam from a boiler is expanded in a cylinder to drive a reciprocating piston
steam engine

An engine in which the energy of hot steam is converted into mechanical power, especially an engine in which the force of expanding steam is used to drive one or more pistons. The source of the steam is typically external to the part of the machine that converts the steam energy into mechanical energy. Compare internal-combustion engine.


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