Mechanical Engineering

Shift your vocabulary into high gear by learning this list of terms related to mechanical engineering. Review types of energy, stress and tension, elasticity, simple machines, and more. Once you've mastered these words, you'll be firing on all cylinders!


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definitions & notes
only words

  1. atmospheric pressure

    the pressure exerted by the atmosphere
  2. automation

    the act of implementing the control of equipment
  3. automaton

    a mechanism that can move independently of external control
  4. belt

    loop of flexible material between rotating shafts or pulleys
  5. combustion

    a reaction of a substance with oxygen to give heat and light
  6. composite

    consisting of separate interconnected parts
  7. compression

    an increase in the density of something
  8. compressor

    a mechanical device that compresses gasses
  9. conduction

    the transmission of heat or electricity or sound
  10. convection

    transfer of heat caused by molecular motion in liquid or gas
  11. crank

    a hand tool consisting of a rotating shaft with parallel handle
  12. cylinder

    a chamber within which a piston moves
  13. deformation

    alteration in the shape or dimensions of an object as a result of the application of stress to it
  14. dynamics

    mechanics concerned with forces that cause motions of bodies
  15. efficiency

    the ratio of the output to the input of any system
  16. elasticity

    the tendency of a body to return to its original shape
  17. elongation

    the act of lengthening something
  18. energy

    the capacity of a physical system to do work
  19. engine

    motor that converts energy into work or motion
  20. entropy

    energy in a system no longer available for mechanical work
  21. factor of safety

    the ratio of the breaking stress of a structure to the estimated maximum stress in ordinary use
  22. fatigue

    a weakened state caused by long stress on a material
  23. filter

    device that removes something from what passes through it
  24. first law of thermodynamics

    the fundamental principle of physics that the total energy of an isolated system is constant despite internal changes
  25. flow rate

    the amount of fluid that flows in a given time
  26. friction

    the resistance when a body is moved in contact with another
  27. fuel

    a substance that can be consumed to produce energy
  28. fulcrum

    the pivot about which a lever turns
  29. gear

    a toothed wheel that engages another toothed mechanism
  30. grinder

    machinery that processes materials by grinding or crushing
  31. heat

    a form of energy transferred by a difference in temperature
  32. hydraulics

    study of the mechanics of fluids
  33. inclined plane

    a simple machine for elevating objects
  34. inelastic

    not able to resume shape after stretching or compression
  35. internal combustion

    the combustion of fuel inside a cylinder
  36. joule

    a unit of electrical energy
  37. kinetic energy

    the mechanical energy that a body has by virtue of motion
  38. lathe

    a machine tool for shaping a piece of rotating wood or metal
  39. lever

    a simple machine giving a mechanical advantage on a fulcrum
  40. lubricator

    a substance capable of reducing friction by making surfaces smooth or slippery
  41. machine

    a mechanical or electrical device that transmits energy
  42. machinery

    mechanical or electrical devices collectively
  43. manufacturing

    the act of making something (a product) from raw materials
  44. material

    the substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object
  45. mechanical advantage

    the ratio of the force exerted by a machine to the force applied to it
  46. mechanical engineering

    the branch of engineering that deals with the design and construction and operation of machinery
  47. mechanism

    device consisting of a piece of machinery
  48. milling machine

    machine tool in which metal that is secured to a carriage is fed against rotating cutters that shape it
  49. modulus of elasticity

    (physics) the ratio of the applied stress to the change in shape of an elastic body
  50. moment

    a turning force produced by an object acting at a distance
  51. momentum

    the product of a body's mass and its velocity
  52. motion

    the act of changing location from one place to another
  53. nanotechnology

    engineering that involves manipulating atoms and molecules
  54. piston

    mechanical device that has a plunging or thrusting motion
  55. pneumatics

    the branch of mechanics that deals with the mechanical properties of gases
  56. potential energy

    mechanical energy that a body has by virtue of its position
  57. power

    (physics) the rate of doing work
  58. pressure

    the exertion of force to a surface
  59. projectile

    impelling or impelled forward
  60. pulley

    a wheel with a groove in which a rope can run
  61. pump

    a device that moves fluid or gas by pressure or suction
  62. quality control

    maintenance of standards of quality of manufactured goods
  63. radiation

    energy transmitted in the form of rays or waves or particles
  64. raw material

    material suitable for manufacture or use or finishing
  65. reliability

    the quality of being dependable
  66. reservoir

    tank used for collecting and storing a liquid
  67. resilience

    ability of a material to return to its original shape
  68. screw

    a simple machine of the inclined-plane type consisting of a spirally threaded cylindrical rod that engages with a similarly threaded hole
  69. second law of thermodynamics

    a law stating that mechanical work can be derived from a body only when that body interacts with another at a lower temperature; any spontaneous process results in an increase of entropy
  70. simple machine

    a device for overcoming resistance at one point by applying force at some other point
  71. speed

    a rate at which something happens
  72. sprocket

    tooth on the rim of gear wheel
  73. statics

    the branch of mechanics concerned with forces in equilibrium
  74. strain

    deformation of a body under the action of applied forces
  75. stress

    (physics) force that produces strain on a physical body
  76. synthetic

    not of natural origin; prepared or made artificially
  77. tensile strength

    the strength of material expressed as the greatest longitudinal stress it can bear without tearing apart
  78. tension

    a stress that produces an elongation of a physical body
  79. thermodynamics

    physics concerned with heat and other forms of energy
  80. torque

    a twisting force
  81. toughness

    the elasticity and hardness of a metal object
  82. transmission line

    a conductor for transmitting electrical or optical signals or electric power
  83. valve

    a mechanical device for controlling the flow of a fluid
  84. variance

    the quality of being subject to change
  85. velocity

    distance traveled per unit time in one direction
  86. viscosity

    resistance of a liquid to flowing
  87. volume

    the amount of 3-dimensional space occupied by an object
  88. wedge

    something solid that can be pushed between two things
  89. wheel and axle

    hoist so arranged that a rope unwinding from a wheel is wound onto a cylindrical drum or shaft coaxial with the wheel
  90. work

    a manifestation of energy
  91. zeroth law of thermodynamics

    the law that if two bodies are in thermal equilibrium with a third body then the first two bodies are in thermal equilibrium with each other
Created on March 1, 2017
(updated April 7, 2017)