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[muh-kan-iks] /məˈkæn ɪks/
(used with a singular verb) the branch of physics that deals with the action of forces on bodies and with motion, comprised of kinetics, statics, and kinematics.
(used with a singular verb) the theoretical and practical application of this science to machinery, mechanical appliances, etc.
(usually used with a plural verb) the technical aspect or working part; mechanism; structure.
(usually used with a plural verb) routine or basic methods, procedures, techniques, or details:
the mechanics of running an office; the mechanics of baseball.
Origin of mechanics
1640-50; see mechanic, -ics


[muh-kan-ik] /məˈkæn ɪk/
a person who repairs and maintains machinery, motors, etc.:
an automobile mechanic.
a worker who is skilled in the use of tools, machines, equipment, etc.
Slang. a person skilled in the dishonest handling of cards, dice, or other objects used in games of chance.
1350-1400; Middle English: mechanical < Latin mēchanicus < Greek mēchanikós, equivalent to mēchan() machine + -ikos -ic Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mechanics
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Engineers, dockmen, express-drivers and mechanics largely make up the citizens of Camden.

  • He will simply be left, and he has a real turn for mechanics.

    Gossamer George A. Birmingham
  • "I hope you know something about mechanics," said Maya as they walked down the corridor together.

    Rebels of the Red Planet Charles Louis Fontenay
  • The merchants, mechanics, and farmers, who constitute the bone and sinew of India.

    History of Education Levi Seeley
  • As for mechanics and skilled labour generally, such Jews as take to it usually excel in such work and do very well where they are.

    Pan-Islam George Wyman Bury
British Dictionary definitions for mechanics


(functioning as sing) the branch of science, divided into statics, dynamics, and kinematics, concerned with the equilibrium or motion of bodies in a particular frame of reference See also quantum mechanics, wave mechanics, statistical mechanics
(functioning as sing) the science of designing, constructing, and operating machines
the working parts of a machine
the technical aspects of something: the mechanics of poetic style


a person skilled in maintaining or operating machinery, motors, etc
(archaic) a common labourer
Word Origin
C14: from Latin mēchanicus, from Greek mēkhanikos, from mēkhanēmachine
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
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Word Origin and History for mechanics

1640s, based on Late Latin mechanica, from Greek mekhanike, mekhanika (see mechanic (adj.)); also see -ics.



late 14c., "pertaining to or involving mechanical labor" (now usually mechanical), also "having to do with tools," from Latin mechanicus, from Greek mekhanikos "full of resources, inventive, ingenious," literally "mechanical, pertaining to machines," from mekhane (see machine (n.)). Meaning "of the nature of or pertaining to machines" is from 1620s.


"manual laborer," late 14c., from Latin mechanicus, from Greek mekhanikos "an engineer," noun use of adjective meaning "full of resources, inventive, ingenious" (see mechanic (adj.)). Sense of "one who is employed in manual labor, a handicraft worker, an artisan" (chief sense through early 19c.) is attested from 1560s. Sense of "skilled workman who is concerned with making or repair of machinery" is from 1660s, but not the main sense until the rise of the automobile.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mechanics in Medicine

mechanics me·chan·ics (mĭ-kān'ĭks)

  1. The branch of physics concerned with the analysis of the action of forces on matter or material systems.

  2. The design, construction, and use of machinery or of mechanical structures.

  3. The functional and technical aspects of an activity.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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mechanics in Science
  1. The branch of physics concerned with the relationships between matter, force, and energy, especially as they affect the motion of objects. See also classical physics, quantum mechanics.

  2. The functional aspect of a system, such as the mechanics of blood circulation.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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mechanics in Culture

mechanics definition

The branch of physics that deals with the motion of material objects. The term mechanics generally refers to the motion of large objects, whereas the study of motion at the level of the atom or smaller is the domain of quantum mechanics.

Note: The basic laws of mechanics are Newton's laws of motion.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for mechanics



  1. An expert cardplayer, esp one adept at cheating; cardsharp: No ''mechanics'' (sharps) were tolerated (1909+ Gambling)
  2. A professional killer; hired gun, hit man: Some prison mechanic will take him out on the lunch line (1973+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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