fire engine


A fire engine in Iraq

Alternative formsEdit



fire engine (plural fire engines)

  1. (firefighting) A vehicle used by firefighters to pump water to fight a fire. Typically, a fire engine carries a supply of water and has the ability to connect to an external water supply.
  2. (archaic) Any fire apparatus, such as the pumping apparatus on a fire boat.
    • 1844, William Pole, A Treatise on the Cornish Pumping Engine - Parts 1-3, page 110:
      A plan somewhat similar to this was adopted by Smeaton in the boiler of his portable fire engine.
    • 1866, Charles Frederick T. Young, Fires, Fire Engines, and Fire Brigades: With a History of Manual and Steam Fire Engines, page 93:
      In the same year a very compact arrangement for a stationary fire engine was described by Mr. Wm. Baddeley, in which he proposed it should be worked like a capstan by means of handspikes, and it could be bolted down to a ship's deck, or fastened wherever wanted.
    • 1868, John Bourne, A Treatise on the Steam-engine in Its Various Applications to Mines, Mills, Steam Navigation, Railways, and Agriculture, page 4:
      This discovery gave a great impulse to mechanical ingenuity, and many schemes were contrived to make this new agent available as a motive power; but the first of these projects that appears to have been of any avail was the fire engine of Captain Tomas Savery, who produced a vacuum by condensing steam in close vessels, and then applied the vaccuum so obtained to the elevation of water.

Derived termsEdit


Further readingEdit


  • fire engine in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • fire engine at OneLook Dictionary Search