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Meaning of cylinder

cyl•in•der

Pronunciation: (sil'in-dur), [key]
— n.
  1. a surface or solid bounded by two parallel planes and generated by a straight line moving parallel to the given planes and tracing a curve bounded by the planes and lying in a plane perpendicular or oblique to the given planes.
  2. any cylinderlike object or part, whether solid or hollow.
  3. the rotating part of a revolver, containing the chambers for the cartridges.
  4. (in a pump) a cylindrical chamber in which a piston slides to move or compress a fluid.
  5. (in an engine) a cylindrical chamber in which the pressure of a gas or liquid moves a sliding piston.
  6. (in certain printing presses)
    1. a rotating cylinder that produces the impression and under which a flat form to be printed from passes.
    2. either of two cylinders, one carrying a curved form or plate to be printed from, that rotate against each other in opposite directions.
  7. (in certain locks) a cylindrical device for retaining the bolt until tumblers have been pushed out of its way.
  8. (in a screw or cylindrical gear) an imaginary cylindrical form, concentric to the axis, defining the pitch or the inner or outer ends of the threads or teeth.
  9. the tracks of a magnetic disk that are accessible from a single radial position of the access mechanism.
  10. the main roller on a carding machine, esp. the roller covered with card clothing that works in combination with the worker and stripper rollers in carding fibers.
  11. a cylindrical or somewhat barrel-shaped stone or clay object bearing a cuneiform inscription or a carved design, worn by the Babylonians, Assyrians, and kindred peoples as a seal and amulet.
—v.t.
  1. to furnish with a cylinder or cylinders.
  2. to subject to the action of a cylinder or cylinders.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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