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An oil furnace for heating a building


Borrowing from Old French fornais (French fournaise), from Latin fornāx.



furnace (plural furnaces)

  1. (Britain) An industrial heating device, e.g. for smelting metal or baking ceramics.
  2. (US, Canada) A device that provides heat for a building; a space heater.
  3. (colloquial) Any area that is excessively hot.
  4. (figuratively) A place or time of punishment, affiction, or great trial; severe experience or discipline.
    • c. 1530, William Tyndale, Tyndale Bible, Deuteronomy 4:20:
      For the Lorde toke you and broughte you out of the yernen fornace of Egipte, to be vnto him a people of enheritaunce, as it is come to passe this daye.



furnace (third-person singular simple present furnaces, present participle furnacing, simple past and past participle furnaced)

  1. To heat in a furnace