from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Mathematics The surface generated by a straight line intersecting and moving along a closed plane curve, the directrix, while remaining parallel to a fixed straight line that is not on or parallel to the plane of the directrix.
  • n. Mathematics The portion of such a surface bounded by two parallel planes and the regions of the planes bounded by the surface.
  • n. Mathematics A solid bounded by two parallel planes and such a surface, especially such a surface having a circle as its directrix.
  • n. A cylindrical container or object.
  • n. Engineering The chamber in which a piston of a reciprocating engine moves.
  • n. Engineering The chamber of a pump from which fluid is expelled by a piston.
  • n. The rotating chamber of a revolver that holds the cartridges.
  • n. Any of several rotating parts in a printing press, especially one that carries the paper.
  • n. Archaeology A cylindrical stone or clay object with an engraved design or inscription.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A surface created by projecting a closed two-dimensional curve along an axis intersecting the plane of the curve.
  • n. A solid figure bounded by a cylinder and two parallel planes intersecting the cylinder.
  • n. Any object in the form of a circular cylinder.
  • n. A cylindrical cavity or chamber in a mechanism, such as the counterpart to a piston found in a piston-driven engine.
  • n. A container in the form of a cylinder with rounded ends for storing pressurized gas.
  • n. An early form of phonograph recording, made on a wax cylinder.
  • n. The part of a revolver that contains chambers for the cartridges.
  • n. The corresponding tracks on a vertical arrangement of disks in a disk drive considered as a unit of data capacity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. A solid body which may be generated by the rotation of a parallelogram round one its sides; or a body of rollerlike form, of which the longitudinal section is oblong, and the cross section is circular.
  • n. The space inclosed by any cylindrical surface. The space may be limited or unlimited in length.
  • n. Any hollow body of cylindrical form.
  • n. The chamber of a steam engine in which the piston is moved by the force of steam.
  • n. The barrel of an air or other pump.
  • n. The revolving platen or bed which produces the impression or carries the type in a cylinder press.
  • n. The bore of a gun; the turning chambered breech of a revolver.
  • n. The revolving square prism carrying the cards in a Jacquard loom.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To press under a cylinder or between cylinders.
  • n. In geometry: A solid which may be conceived as generated by the revolution of a rectangle about one of its sides: specifically called a right cylinder.
  • n. In mech.: That chamber of a steam-engine in which the force of steam is exerted on the piston. See steam-engine.
  • n. The barrel of an air-pump.
  • n. A hollow metallic roller forming part of certain printing-machines.
  • n. The bore of a gun.
  • n. That part of a revolver which contains the chambers for the cartridges.
  • n. The central well around which a winding staircase is carried
  • n. The body of a pump.
  • n. In a loom, a revolving part which receives the cards. In the Jacquard loom it is a square prism revolving on a horizontal axis.
  • n. In a carding-machine, a clothed barrel larger than an urchin or a doffer. See cut under carding-machine.
  • n. In an electrical machine, a barrel of glass.
  • n. In ordnance, a wooden bucket in which a cartridge is carried from the magazine to the gun.
  • n. A garden- or field-roller.
  • n. In antiquity, a cylindrical or somewhat barrel-shaped stone, bearing a cuneiform inscription or a carved design, worn by the Babylonians, Assyrians, and kindred peoples as a seal and amulet. Great numbers of such cylinders have been found, and also of Phenician imitations of them.
  • n. An old portable timepiece of the class of sun-dials.
  • n. [capitalized] In conchology, a genus of gastropods: same as Oliva.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a chamber within which piston moves
  • n. a surface generated by rotating a parallel line around a fixed line
  • n. a solid bounded by a cylindrical surface and two parallel planes (the bases)
  • n. a cylindrical container for oxygen or compressed air


Latin cylindrus, from Greek kulindros, from kulindein, to roll.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin cylindrus, from Ancient Greek κύλινδρος (kulindros). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.