The Collaborative International Dictionary
Reciprocate \Re*cip"ro*cate\ (r[-e]*s[i^]p"r[-o]*k[=a]t), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Reciprocated (r[-e]*s[i^]p"r[-o]*k[=a]`t[e^]d); p. pr. & vb. n. Reciprocating.] [L. reciprocatus, p. p. of reciprocare. See Reciprocal.] To move forward and backward alternately; to recur in vicissitude; to act interchangeably; to alternate.
One brawny smith the puffing bellows plies,
And draws and blows reciprocating air.
Reciprocating engine, a steam, air, or gas engine, etc., in which the piston moves back and forth; -- in distinction from a rotary engine, in which the piston travels continuously in one direction in a circular path.
Reciprocating motion (Mech.), motion alternately backward and forward, or up and down, as of a piston rod.
n. piston engine
n. an internal-combustion engine in which the crankshaft is turned by pistons moving up and down in cylinders
A reciprocating engine, also often known as a piston engine, is a heat engine (usually, although there are also pneumatic and hydraulic reciprocating engines) that uses one or more reciprocating pistons to convert pressure into a rotating motion. This article describes the common features of all types. The main types are: the internal combustion engine, used extensively in motor vehicles; the steam engine, the mainstay of the Industrial Revolution; and the niche application Stirling engine. Internal Combustion engines are further classified in two ways: either a spark-ignition (SI) engine, where the spark plug initiates the combustion; or a compression-ignition (CI) engine, where the air within the cylinder is compressed, thus heating it, so that the heated air ignites fuel that is injected then or earlier.
Usage examples of "reciprocating engine".
A reciprocating engine was a collection of miniature heat engines using (in a basically inefficient cycle) a small percentage of an exothermic chemical reaction, a reaction which was started and stopped every split second.
The engineer opened the throttle, and the reciprocating engine started to chug.
I havent tried it yet, but it should be possible to run a reciprocating engine without fuel, by bleeding off the gravitic moment of alternate cylinders.
He was snoring with the steady pounding of a steam-powered reciprocating engine.
Thus, in the recent past we have seen new tricks that employ the reciprocating engine, the telephone, electricity, and one remarkable effect memorably created with Dr Warble's smoke-bomb toy.
He waited and General Wheeler stalked past him, elbows and knees stiff as the linkages of a reciprocating engine.