Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A device or instrument designed to perform a specific function, especially an electrical device, such as a toaster, for household use. See Synonyms at tool.
  • n. A dental or surgical device designed to perform a therapeutic or corrective function.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of applying; application.
  • n. An implement, an instrument or apparatus designed (or at least used) as a means to a specific end (often specified).
  • n. Specifically: A non-manual apparatus or device, powered electrically or by another small motor, used in homes to perform domestic functions (household appliance) and/or in offices.
  • n. An attachment, some equipment (or - piece) to adapt another tool or machine to such specific purpose
  • n. A compliance

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of applying; application.
  • n. subservience; compliance.
  • n. A thing applied or used as a means to an end; an apparatus or device
  • n. An apparatus or device, usually powered electrically, used in homes to perform domestic functions. An appliance is often categorized as a major appliance or a minor appliance by its cost. Common major appliances are the refrigerator, washing machine, clothes drier, oven, and dishwasher. Some minor appliances are a toaster, vacuum cleaner or microwave oven.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of applying, putting to use, or carrying into practice.
  • n. Something applied as a means to an end, either independently or subordinately; that which is adapted to the accomplishment of a purpose; an instrumental means, aid, or appurtenance: as, the appliances of civilization, or of a trade; mechanical, chemical, or medical appliances (tools, machinery, apparatus, remedies, etc.); an engine with its appliances.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a device or control that is very useful for a particular job
  • n. durable goods for home or office use

Etymologies

From apply.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Recorded since the 1560s. From the English apply + -ance. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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