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2 definitions found
 for Rotary engine
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Rotary \Ro"ta*ry\, a. [L. rota a wheel. See Roll, v., and cf.
     barouche, Rodomontade, Rou['e], Round, a., Rowel.]
     Turning, as a wheel on its axis; pertaining to, or
     resembling, the motion of a wheel on its axis; rotatory; as,
     rotary motion.
     [1913 Webster]
  
     Rotary engine, steam engine in which the continuous
        rotation of the shaft is produced by the direct action of
        the steam upon rotating devices which serve as pistons,
        instead of being derived from a reciprocating motion, as
        in the ordinary engine; a steam turbine; -- called also
        rotatory engine.
  
     Rotary pump, a pump in which the fluid is impelled by
        rotating devices which take the place of reciprocating
        buckets or pistons.
  
     Rotary shears, shears, as for cloth, metal, etc., in which
        revolving sharp-edged or sharp-cornered wheels do the
        cutting.
  
     Rotary valve, a valve acting by continuous or partial
        rotation, as in the four-way cock.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  rotary engine
      n 1: an internal-combustion engine in which power is transmitted
           directly to rotating components
      2: an internal-combustion engine having cylinders arranged
         radially around a central crankcase [syn: radial engine,
         rotary engine]

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