Camshaft (noun)

A shaft with cams (protrusions) that operates the valves in an internal combustion engine or the inlet and exhaust valves in a steam engine.


Early 20th century: from cam + shaft.


  1. The camshaft was a critical component of the engine.
  2. The camshaft was responsible for opening and closing the valves at the correct time.
  3. The camshaft was precision machined to exacting tolerances.
  4. The camshaft was driven by a timing belt.
  5. The camshaft was a common source of engine problems.
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