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A device containing a usually spherical chamber or container, in which steam is heated and ejected through one or more narrow tubes to create propulsion or torque.

[French éolipyle, from Latin aeolipila : Aeolus, god of the winds; see Aeolus + pila, ball; akin to pilus, hair (Roman leather balls being stuffed with hair).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




(General Physics) a device illustrating the reactive forces of a gas jet: usually a spherical vessel mounted so as to rotate and equipped with angled exit pipes from which steam within it escapes
[C17: from Latin aeolīpilae balls of Aeolus or aeolīpylae gates of Aeolus]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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References in periodicals archive ?
Lincoln points out that the Egyptians understood the principle, for they had a steam-powered toy (the aeolipile).
Heron of Alexandria, who lived in Roman Egypt during the first century, described the 'aeolipile,' a simple steam turbine that spins when the central water container is heated.
Another tour de force is an 'over-the-top' Renaissance bronze aeolipile or steam fire-blower.
AMONGST some of my more unusual possessions is a working model of an aeolipile or Hero engine.
In the 1st century CE, a Greek named Hero of Alexandria constructed a brass sphere with two jets, which was called an aeolipile. When water inside was heated, it escaped through the jets and pushed the sphere around.
Model catapult, pounds 22.48 from 3 SPIN ME ROUND A fascinating example of early engineering first seen in Roman Egypt, this steam-powered aeolipile works by the expulsion of steam through nozzles, generating thrust according to the rocket principle and Newton's Second Law of Motion.
The first documented effort to exploit this phenomenon to create mechanical motion is generally credited to Hero of Alexandria, who invented his aeolipile in the first century.
The earliest use of steam power dates back to 130 B.C., when Hero of Alexandria built his aeolipile. The same principle is used today on lawn sprinklers.
100, Hero of Alexandria described a simple steam turbine, the aeolipile, which revolved by jets of steam that issued forth through a pair of curved nozzles.