Meaning of windmill

wind•mill

Pronunciation: (wind'mil"), [key]
— n.
  1. any of various machines for grinding, pumping, etc., driven by the force of the wind acting upon a number of vanes or sails.
  2. (loosely) a wind generator; wind plant.
  3. a small air turbine with blades, like those of an airplane propeller, exposed on a moving aircraft and driven by the air, used to operate gasoline pumps, radio apparatus, etc.
  4. an imaginary opponent, wrong, etc. (in allusion to Cervantes' Don Quixote): to tilt at windmills.
—v.i., v.t.
  1. (of a propeller engine or turbojet engine) to rotate or cause to rotate solely under the force of a passing airstream.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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