) KEY NOUN:
- A device consisting of fixed and moving parts that modifies mechanical energy and transmits it in a more useful form.
- A simple device, such as a lever, a pulley, or an inclined plane, that alters the magnitude or direction, or both, of an applied force; a simple machine.
- A system or device for doing work, as an automobile or a jackhammer, together with its power source and auxiliary equipment.
- A system or device, such as a computer, that performs or assists in the performance of a human task: The machine is down.
- An intricate natural system or organism, such as the human body.
- A person who acts in a rigid, mechanical, or unconscious manner.
- An organized group of people whose members are or appear to be under the control of one or more leaders: a political machine.
- A device used to produce a stage effect, especially a mechanical means of lowering an actor onto the stage.
- A literary device used to produce an effect, especially the introduction of a supernatural being to resolve a plot.
- An answering machine: Leave a message on my machine if I'm not home.
- Of, relating to, or felt to resemble a machine: machine repairs; machine politics.
, ma·chines VERB: tr.
- To cut, shape, or finish by machine.
- To be cut, shaped, or finished by machine: This metal machines easily.
French, from Old French, from Latin mchina
, from Greek mkhan
, dialectal variant of mkhan
; see magh-
in Indo-European rootsOTHER FORMS:ma·china·ble(Adjective)