A cylinder is a solid shape bounded by a cylindrical shape and two parallel circular bases. Confused yet? Just picture a soda can or one of those mailing tubes with a round bottom and a lid.

The word cylinder is certainly mired in a whole lot of technical terms. It's one of the basic geometric shapes, as well as a key piece of engineering — such as the cylinders in an engine, which are the chambers where the pistons move. So don't worry if you don't quite get it. You have to be "running on all cylinders" to get what this word is all about.

Definitions of cylinder
  1. noun
    a surface generated by rotating a parallel line around a fixed line
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    brake drum, drum
    a hollow cast-iron cylinder attached to the wheel that forms part of the brakes
    cylinder forming the part of a bit by which it is held in the drill
    cylinder forming the part of a bolt between the thread and the head
    shank, stem
    cylinder forming a long narrow part of something
    a cylinder of calcium carbonate hanging from the roof of a limestone cave
    a cylinder of calcium carbonate projecting upward from the floor of a limestone cave
    barrel, drum
    a bulging cylindrical shape; hollow with flat ends
    pipe, tube
    a hollow cylindrical shape
    type of:
    round shape
    a shape that is curved and without sharp angles
  2. noun
    a solid bounded by a cylindrical surface and two parallel planes (the bases)
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    anything rolled up in cylindrical form
    a cylinder that revolves
    a roll of cloth or wallpaper of a definite length
    garden roller
    heavy cast-iron cylinder used to flatten lawns
    paint roller
    a roller that has an absorbent surface used for spreading paint
    the roller on a typewriter against which the keys strike
    a roll of coins wrapped in paper
    a roll of ribbon
    roller that has teeth on the rims to pull film or paper through
    small wheel or roller
    type of:
    a three-dimensional shape
  3. noun
    a cylindrical container for oxygen or compressed air
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    type of:
    any object that can be used to hold things (especially a large metal boxlike object of standardized dimensions that can be loaded from one form of transport to another)
  4. noun
    a chamber within which a piston moves
    synonyms: piston chamber
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    brake cylinder, hydraulic brake cylinder, master cylinder
    a cylinder that contains brake fluid that is compressed by a piston
    type of:
    a natural or artificial enclosed space
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