[ uh-plahy-uh ns ]
/ əˈplaɪ əns /


an instrument, apparatus, or device for a particular purpose or use.
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.
the act of applying; application.
Archaic. a measure; stratagem.
Obsolete. compliance.

verb (used with object), ap·pli·anced, ap·pli·anc·ing.

to equip with appliances: a fully applianced kitchen.

Nearby words

  1. applet,
  2. appleton,
  3. appleton layer,
  4. appleton, sir edward victor,
  5. appley,
  6. appliance garage,
  7. applicability,
  8. applicable,
  9. applicant,
  10. application

Origin of appliance

First recorded in 1555–65; apply + -ance

Related formsre·ap·pli·ance, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for appliance

British Dictionary definitions for appliance


/ (əˈplaɪəns) /


a machine or device, esp an electrical one used domestically
any piece of equipment having a specific function
a device fitted to a machine or tool to adapt it for a specific purpose
another name for a fire engine
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



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for appliance


[ ə-plīəns ]


A dental or surgical device designed to perform a therapeutic or corrective function.

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