apparatus

[ ap-uh-rat-uhs, -rey-tuhs ]
/ ˌæp əˈræt əs, -ˈreɪ təs /

noun, plural ap·pa·rat·us, ap·pa·rat·us·es.

a group or combination of instruments, machinery, tools, materials, etc., having a particular function or intended for a specific use: Our town has excellent fire-fighting apparatus.
any complex instrument or mechanism for a particular purpose.
any system or systematic organization of activities, functions, processes, etc., directed toward a specific goal: the apparatus of government; espionage apparatus.
Physiology. a group of structurally different organs working together in the performance of a particular function: the digestive apparatus.

Nearby words

  1. appaloosa,
  2. appanage,
  3. appar.,
  4. apparat,
  5. apparatchik,
  6. apparatus criticus,
  7. apparel,
  8. apparent,
  9. apparent candlepower,
  10. apparent horizon

Origin of apparatus

1620–30; < Latin apparātus equipment, orig. the act of equipping, preparation, equivalent to apparā(re) to prepare (ap- ap-1 + parāre; see prepare) + -tus suffix of v. action

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for apparatus


British Dictionary definitions for apparatus

apparatus

/ (ˌæpəˈreɪtəs, -ˈrɑːtəs, ˈæpəˌreɪtəs) /

noun plural -ratus or -ratuses

a collection of instruments, machines, tools, parts, or other equipment used for a particular purpose
a machine having a specific functionbreathing apparatus
the means by which something operates; organizationthe apparatus of government
anatomy any group of organs having a specific function

Word Origin for apparatus

C17: from Latin, from apparāre to make ready

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 apparatus

apparatus

n.

1620s, from Latin apparatus "tools, implements, equipment; preparation, a preparing," noun of state from past participle stem of apparare "prepare," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + parare "make ready" (see pare).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for apparatus

apparatus

[ ăp′ə-rātəs, -rătəs ]

n. pl. apparatus

An integrated group of materials or devices used for a particular purpose.
A group or system of organs that collectively performs a specific function or process.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.