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appliance

[uh-plahy-uh ns]
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noun
  1. an instrument, apparatus, or device for a particular purpose or use.
  2. a piece of equipment, usually operated electrically, especially for use in the home or for performance of domestic chores, as a refrigerator, washing machine, or toaster.
  3. the act of applying; application.
  4. Archaic. a measure; stratagem.
  5. Obsolete. compliance.
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verb (used with object), ap·pli·anced, ap·pli·anc·ing.
  1. to equip with appliances: a fully applianced kitchen.
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Origin of appliance

First recorded in 1555–65; apply + -ance
Related formsre·ap·pli·ance, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for appliance

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And, indeed, every means and appliance of bodily comfort was at hand.

    Hidden Hand

    Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth

  • The appliance for lifting the bucket was of the most primitive type.

    Dwellers in the Hills

    Melville Davisson Post

  • This required drills, fuse-powder, and all the appliance of the quarry.

    Shadows of Shasta

    Joaquin Miller

  • So does every tool, appliance, and machine we use, and so do all the people with whom we interact.

  • No horses, after this appliance, were afflicted with sore backs.

    The Prairie Traveler

    Randolph Marcy


British Dictionary definitions for appliance

appliance

noun
  1. a machine or device, esp an electrical one used domestically
  2. any piece of equipment having a specific function
  3. a device fitted to a machine or tool to adapt it for a specific purpose
  4. another name for a fire engine
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for appliance

n.

1560s, "action of putting into use," from apply + -ance. Meaning "instrument, thing applied for a purpose" is from 1590s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

appliance in Medicine

appliance

(ə-plīəns)
n.
  1. A dental or surgical device designed to perform a therapeutic or corrective function.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.