The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Gauge \Gauge\, n. [Written also gage.]
1. A measure; a standard of measure; an instrument to
determine dimensions, distance, or capacity; a standard.
This plate must be a gauge to file your worm and
groove to equal breadth by. --Moxon.
There is not in our hands any fixed gauge of minds.
2. Measure; dimensions; estimate.
The gauge and dimensions of misery, depression, and
3. (Mach. & Manuf.) Any instrument for ascertaining or
regulating the dimensions or forms of things; a templet or
template; as, a button maker's gauge.
4. (Physics) Any instrument or apparatus for measuring the
state of a phenomenon, or for ascertaining its numerical
elements at any moment; -- usually applied to some
particular instrument; as, a rain gauge; a steam gauge.
(a) Relative positions of two or more vessels with
reference to the wind; as, a vessel has the weather
gauge of another when on the windward side of it, and
the lee gauge when on the lee side of it.
(b) The depth to which a vessel sinks in the water.
6. The distance between the rails of a railway.
Note: The standard gauge of railroads in most countries is
four feet, eight and one half inches. Wide, or broad,
gauge, in the United States, is six feet; in England,
seven feet, and generally any gauge exceeding standard
gauge. Any gauge less than standard gauge is now called
narrow gauge. It varies from two feet to three feet six
7. (Plastering) The quantity of plaster of Paris used with
common plaster to accelerate its setting.
8. (Building) That part of a shingle, slate, or tile, which
is exposed to the weather, when laid; also, one course of
such shingles, slates, or tiles.
Gauge of a carriage, car, etc., the distance between the
wheels; -- ordinarily called the track.
Gauge cock, a stop cock used as a try cock for ascertaining
the height of the water level in a steam boiler.
Gauge concussion (Railroads), the jar caused by a car-wheel
flange striking the edge of the rail.
Gauge glass, a glass tube for a water gauge.
Gauge lathe, an automatic lathe for turning a round object
having an irregular profile, as a baluster or chair round,
to a templet or gauge.
Gauge point, the diameter of a cylinder whose altitude is
one inch, and contents equal to that of a unit of a given
measure; -- a term used in gauging casks, etc.
Gauge rod, a graduated rod, for measuring the capacity of
barrels, casks, etc.
Gauge saw, a handsaw, with a gauge to regulate the depth of
Gauge stuff, a stiff and compact plaster, used in making
cornices, moldings, etc., by means of a templet.
Gauge wheel, a wheel at the forward end of a plow beam, to
determine the depth of the furrow.
Joiner's gauge, an instrument used to strike a line
parallel to the straight side of a board, etc.
Printer's gauge, an instrument to regulate the length of
Rain gauge, an instrument for measuring the quantity of
rain at any given place.
Salt gauge, or Brine gauge, an instrument or contrivance
for indicating the degree of saltness of water from its
specific gravity, as in the boilers of ocean steamers.
Sea gauge, an instrument for finding the depth of the sea.
Siphon gauge, a glass siphon tube, partly filled with
mercury, -- used to indicate pressure, as of steam, or the
degree of rarefaction produced in the receiver of an air
pump or other vacuum; a manometer.
Sliding gauge. (Mach.)
(a) A templet or pattern for gauging the commonly accepted
dimensions or shape of certain parts in general use,
as screws, railway-car axles, etc.
(b) A gauge used only for testing other similar gauges,
and preserved as a reference, to detect wear of the
(c) (Railroads) See Note under Gauge, n., 5.
Star gauge (Ordnance), an instrument for measuring the
diameter of the bore of a cannon at any point of its
Steam gauge, an instrument for measuring the pressure of
steam, as in a boiler.
Tide gauge, an instrument for determining the height of the
Vacuum gauge, a species of barometer for determining the
relative elasticities of the vapor in the condenser of a
steam engine and the air.
(a) A contrivance for indicating the height of a water
surface, as in a steam boiler; as by a gauge cock or
(b) The height of the water in the boiler.
Wind gauge, an instrument for measuring the force of the
wind on any given surface; an anemometer.
Wire gauge, a gauge for determining the diameter of wire or
the thickness of sheet metal; also, a standard of size.
See under Wire.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Steam \Steam\ (st[=e]m), n. [OE. stem, steem, vapor, flame, AS.
ste['a]m vapor, smoke, odor; akin to D. stoom steam, perhaps
originally, a pillar, or something rising like a pillar; cf.
Gr. sty`ein to erect, sty^los a pillar, and E. stand.]
1. The elastic, aeriform fluid into which water is converted
when heated to the boiling point; water in the state of
vapor; gaseous water.
[1913 Webster + PJC]
2. The mist formed by condensed vapor; visible vapor; -- so
called in popular usage.
3. Any exhalation. "A steam of rich, distilled perfumes."
Dry steam, steam which does not contain water held in
suspension mechanically; -- sometimes applied to
Exhaust steam. See under Exhaust.
High steam, or High-pressure steam, steam of which the
pressure greatly exceeds that of the atmosphere.
Low steam, or Low-pressure steam, steam of which the
pressure is less than, equal to, or not greatly above,
that of the atmosphere.
Saturated steam, steam at the temperature of the boiling
point which corresponds to its pressure; -- sometimes also
applied to wet steam.
Superheated steam, steam heated to a temperature higher
than the boiling point corresponding to its pressure. It
can not exist in contact with water, nor contain water,
and resembles a perfect gas; -- called also surcharged
steam, anhydrous steam, and steam gas.
Wet steam, steam which contains water held in suspension
mechanically; -- called also misty steam.
Note: Steam is often used adjectively, and in combination, to
denote, produced by heat, or operated by power, derived
from steam, in distinction from other sources of power;
as in steam boiler or steam-boiler, steam dredger or
steam-dredger, steam engine or steam-engine, steam
heat, steam plow or steam-plow, etc.
(a) A blower for producing a draught consisting of a jet
or jets of steam in a chimney or under a fire.
(b) A fan blower driven directly by a steam engine.
Steam boiler, a boiler for producing steam. See Boiler,
3, and Note. In the illustration, the shell a of the
boiler is partly in section, showing the tubes, or flues,
which the hot gases, from the fire beneath the boiler,
enter, after traversing the outside of the shell, and
through which the gases are led to the smoke pipe d, which
delivers them to the chimney; b is the manhole; c the
dome; e the steam pipe; f the feed and blow-off pipe; g
the safety valve; hthe water gauge.
Steam car, a car driven by steam power, or drawn by a
Steam carriage, a carriage upon wheels moved on common
roads by steam.
Steam casing. See Steam jacket, under Jacket.
Steam chest, the box or chamber from which steam is
distributed to the cylinder of a steam engine, steam pump,
etc., and which usually contains one or more valves; --
called also valve chest, and valve box. See Illust. of
Slide valve, under Slide.
Steam chimney, an annular chamber around the chimney of a
boiler furnace, for drying steam.
Steam coil, a coil of pipe, or a collection of connected
pipes, for containing steam; -- used for heating, drying,
Steam colors (Calico Printing), colors in which the
chemical reaction fixing the coloring matter in the fiber
is produced by steam.
Steam cylinder, the cylinder of a steam engine, which
contains the piston. See Illust. of Slide valve, under
Steam dome (Steam Boilers), a chamber upon the top of the
boiler, from which steam is conducted to the engine. See
Illust. of Steam boiler, above.
Steam fire engine, a fire engine consisting of a steam
boiler and engine, and pump which is driven by the engine,
combined and mounted on wheels. It is usually drawn by
horses, but is sometimes made self-propelling.
Steam fitter, a fitter of steam pipes.
Steam fitting, the act or the occupation of a steam fitter;
also, a pipe fitting for steam pipes.
Steam gas. See Superheated steam, above.
Steam gauge, an instrument for indicating the pressure of
the steam in a boiler. The mercurial steam gauge is a
bent tube partially filled with mercury, one end of which
is connected with the boiler while the other is open to
the air, so that the steam by its pressure raises the
mercury in the long limb of the tube to a height
proportioned to that pressure. A more common form,
especially for high pressures, consists of a spring
pressed upon by the steam, and connected with the pointer
of a dial. The spring may be a flattened, bent tube,
closed at one end, which the entering steam tends to
straighten, or it may be a diaphragm of elastic metal, or
a mass of confined air, etc.
Steam gun, a machine or contrivance from which projectiles
may be thrown by the elastic force of steam.
Steam hammer, a hammer for forging, which is worked
directly by steam; especially, a hammer which is guided
vertically and operated by a vertical steam cylinder
located directly over an anvil. In the variety known as
Nasmyth's, the cylinder is fixed, and the hammer is
attached to the piston rod. In that known as Condie's, the
piston is fixed, and the hammer attached to the lower end
of the cylinder.
(a) A radiator heated by steam.
(b) An apparatus consisting of a steam boiler, radiator,
piping, and fixures for warming a house by steam.
Steam jacket. See under Jacket.
Steam packet, a packet or vessel propelled by steam, and
running periodically between certain ports.
Steam pipe, any pipe for conveying steam; specifically, a
pipe through which steam is supplied to an engine.
Steam plow or Steam plough, a plow, or gang of plows,
moved by a steam engine.
Steam port, an opening for steam to pass through, as from
the steam chest into the cylinder.
Steam power, the force or energy of steam applied to
produce results; power derived from a steam engine.
Steam propeller. See Propeller.
Steam pump, a small pumping engine operated by steam. It is
Steam room (Steam Boilers), the space in the boiler above
the water level, and in the dome, which contains steam.
Steam table, a table on which are dishes heated by steam
for keeping food warm in the carving room of a hotel,
Steam trap, a self-acting device by means of which water
that accumulates in a pipe or vessel containing steam will
be discharged without permitting steam to escape.
Steam tug, a steam vessel used in towing or propelling
Steam vessel, a vessel propelled by steam; a steamboat or
steamship; a steamer.
Steam whistle, an apparatus attached to a steam boiler, as
of a locomotive, through which steam is rapidly
discharged, producing a loud whistle which serves as a
warning or a signal. The steam issues from a narrow
annular orifice around the upper edge of the lower cup or
hemisphere, striking the thin edge of the bell above it,
and producing sound in the manner of an organ pipe or a