[ muh-sheen ]
/ məˈʃin /
an apparatus consisting of interrelated parts with separate functions, used in the performance of some kind of work: a sewing machine.
a mechanical apparatus or contrivance; mechanism.
- a device that transmits or modifies force or motion.
- Also called simple machine. any of six or more elementary mechanisms, as the lever, wheel and axle, pulley, screw, wedge, and inclined plane.
- Also called complex machine. a combination of simple machines.
- an automobile or airplane.
- a typewriter.
a bicycle or motorcycle.
a vending machine: a cigarette machine.
any complex agency or operating system: the machine of government.
an organized group of persons that conducts or controls the activities of a political party or organization: He heads the Democratic machine in our city.
a person or thing that acts in a mechanical or automatic manner: Routine work had turned her into a machine.
any of various contrivances, especially those formerly used in theater, for producing stage effects
some agency, personage, incident or other feature introduced for effect into a literary composition.
verb (used with object), ma·chined, ma·chin·ing.
to make, prepare, or finish with a machine or with machine tools.
Origin of machine
1540–50; < French < Latin māchina < Doric Greek māchanā́ pulley, akin to mâchos contrivance; cf. mechanic
Related formsma·chine·less, adjectivean·ti·ma·chine, adjectiveun·ma·chined, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for complex-machine
/ (məˈʃiːn) /
an assembly of interconnected components arranged to transmit or modify force in order to perform useful work
Also called: simple machine a device for altering the magnitude or direction of a force, esp a lever, screw, wedge, or pulley
a mechanically operated device or means of transport, such as a car, aircraft, etc
any mechanical or electrical device that automatically performs tasks or assists in performing tasks
- (modifier) denoting a firearm that is fully automatic as distinguished from semiautomatic
- (in combination)machine pistol; machine gun
any intricate structure or agencythe war machine
a mechanically efficient, rigid, or obedient person
an organized body of people that controls activities, policies, etc
(esp in the classical theatre) a device such as a pulley to provide spectacular entrances and exits for supernatural characters
an event, etc, introduced into a literary work for special effect
(tr) to shape, cut, or remove (excess material) from (a workpiece) using a machine tool
to use a machine to carry out a process on (something)
Derived Formsmachinable or machineable, adjectivemachinability, nounmachineless, adjectivemachine-like, adjective
Word Origin for machine
C16: via French from Latin māchina machine, engine, from Doric Greek makhana pulley; related to makhos device, contrivance
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
Science definitions for complex-machine
[ mə-shēn′ ]
A device that applies force, changes the direction of a force, or changes the strength of a force, in order to perform a task, generally involving work done on a load. Machines are often designed to yield a high mechanical advantage to reduce the effort needed to do that work.♦ A simple machine is a wheel, a lever, or an inclined plane. All other machines can be built using combinations of these simple machines; for example, a drill uses a combination of gears (wheels) to drive helical inclined planes (the drill-bit) to split a material and carve a hole in it.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.