A steam turbine is a mechanical device that extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam, and converts it into rotary motion.
A steam turbine is a device that extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam and uses it to do mechanical work on a rotating output shaft. Its modern manifestation was invented by Sir Charles Parsons in 1884. Because the turbine generates rotary motion, it is particularly suited to be used to drive an electrical generator – about 90% of all electricity generation in the United States (1996) is by use of steam turbines. The steam turbine is a form of heat engine that derives much of its improvement in thermodynamic efficiency from the use of multiple stages in the expansion of the steam, which results in a closer approach to the ideal reversible expansion process.
Source: Wikipedia - Steam turbine