Let's consider that an engine has 4 states, as defined by what is happening to its speed (RPM) over time:
- Idling: Running at a constant low speed.
- Accelerating: Throttle is being applied; the engine's RPM is increasing
- ???: Throttle is still being applied, the engine is running steadily at the highest allowed RPM
- Decelerating: The throttle has been released; the engine's RPM is decreasing, eventually to return to idle.
I can't come up with a word that describes that middle state. Some suggestions I have heard:
- Running: Doesn't work for me; I take running to mean having a nonzero RPM, so all four states are running.
- Under load: Better, although an engine running at the highest allowed speed doesn't have to be under any load - consider a parked car with the accelerator held on the floor.
- Cruising: Not general enough; this would work great for a plane or boat, but you couldn't describe a chainsaw running at top speed as cruising.
There are probably phrases for what I want, such as running at high speed, but I want a single word that describes such a state. The best I can do is high, but that seems too vague to me.
Context: I'm writing iPhone and Android apps to produce the sound of a chainsaw. In the code, I must keep track of the state of the chainsaw's engine so I know what to do next. For example, if we are in the accelerating state and the user releases the throttle button, transition to the decelerating state and play the corresponding sound. These words will not be used in the UI, but in my source code to describe the various states and sounds of the engine.