adding machine


a machine capable of adding numbers and sometimes capable of performing the other arithmetic functions of subtraction, multiplication, and division: such machines are now obsolescent, having been replaced in most applications by electronic calculators.

Origin of adding machine

An Americanism dating back to 1870–75 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for adding machine

  • To his marrow he was systematic; he was as definite as an adding-machine, as practical as a cash register.

    Queed|Henry Sydnor Harrison
  • But I could hug you for wanting to be a man, not an adding-machine!

    The Book of Susan|Lee Wilson Dodd
  • These he read off to Speyer, who in turn pressed the proper keys on the adding-machine––an endless, tedious, irritating task.

    The Wall Street Girl|Frederick Orin Bartlett

British Dictionary definitions for adding machine

adding machine


a mechanical device, operated manually or electrically, for adding and often subtracting, multiplying, and dividing
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