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windmill

GC: n

CT: A windmill is a machine which converts the energy of wind into rotational motion by means of adjustable vanes called sails. The main use is for a grinding mill powered by the wind, reducing a solid or coarse substance into pulp or minute grains, by crushing, grinding, or pressing. Windmills have also provided energy to sawmills, paper mills, hammermills, and windpumps for obtaining fresh water from underground or for drainage (especially of land below sea level).

S: https://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Windmill.html(external link) (last access: 23 December 2014)

N: 1. c.1300, from wind + mill. Similar formation in German Windmühle, Dutch windmolen, French moulin à vent. Verb meaning "to swing the arms wildly" is recorded from 1888. Related: Windmilled; windmilling.
2. A mill operated by the wind's rotation of large, oblique sails or vanes radiating from a shaft: used as a source of power for grinding grain, pumping water, etc.
3. The idea of using the wind as a source of power or energy to do man's bidding is not new. The earliest known wind machines, used by the Persians to grind grain, predate Christian civilization. Use of windmills to recorded is the 12th century en France and England and was extensive throughout Europe by the 13th century.
4. Strictly speaking, a "windmill" is used for milling (grain grinding, etc.) and not for the production of electricity or water pumping. But, being short and evocative the word tends to be used to describe what is properly called any one of the following: wind generator, wind driven turbine, wind plant and wind machine, to mention but a few.
5. Cultural Interrelation: Among others, we can mention A Windmill by Moonlight by Water by British School and The Windmill on the Onbekende Canal, Amsterdam by Claude Monet (1840-1926).

S: 1. OED - http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=windmill&searchmode=none(external link) (last access: 23 December 2014). 2, 3 & 4. TERMIUMPLUS. 5. http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/a-windmill-by-moonlight-by-water-171270(external link) (last access: 23 December 2014); http://www.claudemonetgallery.org/The-Windmill-On-The-Onbekende-Canal--Amsterdam.html(external link) (last access: 23 December 2014); FCB.

SYN:
S:

CR: electrical energy, hydroelectric power, multi-bladed windmill, panemone (EN), wind turbine (1).


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