Definitions

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

  • n. A device consisting of fixed and moving parts that modifies mechanical energy and transmits it in a more useful form.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A system or device for doing work, as an automobile or a jackhammer, together with its power source and auxiliary equipment.
  • n. A system or device, such as a computer, that performs or assists in the performance of a human task: The machine is down.
  • n. An intricate natural system or organism, such as the human body.
  • n. A person who acts in a rigid, mechanical, or unconscious manner.
  • n. An organized group of people whose members are or appear to be under the control of one or more leaders: a political machine.
  • n. A device used to produce a stage effect, especially a mechanical means of lowering an actor onto the stage.
  • n. A literary device used to produce an effect, especially the introduction of a supernatural being to resolve a plot.
  • n. An answering machine: Leave a message on my machine if I'm not home.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or felt to resemble a machine: machine repairs; machine politics.
  • transitive v. To cut, shape, or finish by machine.
  • intransitive v. To be cut, shaped, or finished by machine: This metal machines easily.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mechanical or electrical device that performs or assists in the performance of human tasks, whether physical or computational, laborious or for entertainment.
  • n. A vehicle operated mechanically; an automobile.
  • n. An answering machine or, by extension, voice mail.
  • n. A computer.
  • n. A person or organisation that seemingly acts like a machine, being particularly efficient, single-minded, or unemotional.
  • n. Especially, the group that controls a political or similar organization.
  • n. Penis.
  • v. to make by machinery.
  • v. to shape or finish by machinery.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. In general, any combination of bodies so connected that their relative motions are constrained, and by means of which force and motion may be transmitted and modified, as a screw and its nut, or a lever arranged to turn about a fulcrum or a pulley about its pivot, etc.; especially, a construction, more or less complex, consisting of a combination of moving parts, or simple mechanical elements, as wheels, levers, cams, etc., with their supports and connecting framework, calculated to constitute a prime mover, or to receive force and motion from a prime mover or from another machine, and transmit, modify, and apply them to the production of some desired mechanical effect or work, as weaving by a loom, or the excitation of electricity by an electrical machine.
  • n. Any mechanical contrivance, as the wooden horse with which the Greeks entered Troy; a coach; a bicycle.
  • n. A person who acts mechanically or at the will of another.
  • n. A combination of persons acting together for a common purpose, with the agencies which they use.
  • n. A political organization arranged and controlled by one or more leaders for selfish, private or partisan ends; the Tammany machine.
  • n. Supernatural agency in a poem, or a superhuman being introduced to perform some exploit.
  • transitive v. To subject to the action of machinery; to make, cut, shape, or modify with a machine; to effect by aid of machinery; to print with a printing machine.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To contrive. Palsgrave.
  • To apply machinery to; form or effect by the aid of machinery; especially, to print or sew by means of a machine.
  • To furnish with the machinery of a plot.
  • To be employed upon or in machinery.
  • To act as or in the machinery of a drama; serve as the machine or effective agency in a literary plot.
  • n. An engine; an instrument of force.
  • n. In mech., in general, any instrument for the conversion of motion.
  • n. A vehicle or conveyance, such as a coach, cab, gig, tricycle, bicycle, etc.
  • n. A fire-engine.
  • n. In the ancient theater, one of a number of contrivances in use for indicating a change of scene, as a rotating prism with different conventional scenery painted on its three sides, or a device for expressing a descent to the infernal regions, as the “Charonian steps,” for representing the passage of a god through the air across the stage (whence the dictum deus ex machina, applied to the mock supernatural or providential), etc. Such machines were very numerous in the fully developed Greek theater, and were copied in the Roman.
  • n. A literary contrivance for the working out of a plot; a supernatural agency, or artificial action, introduced into a poem or tale; machinery.
  • n. Any organization by which power not mechanical is applied and made effective; the whole complex system by which any organization or institution is carried on: as, the vital machine; the machine of government.
  • n. A strict organization of the working members of a political party, which enables its managers, through the distribution of offices, careful local supervision, and systematic correspondence, to maintain control of conventions and elections, and to secure a predominating in-fluence in the party for them-selves and their associates for their own ends; also, the body of managers of such an organization.
  • n. See the adjectives.

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

  • n. a group that controls the activities of a political party
  • v. make by machinery
  • n. a motor vehicle with four wheels; usually propelled by an internal combustion engine
  • n. a device for overcoming resistance at one point by applying force at some other point
  • v. turn, shape, mold, or otherwise finish by machinery
  • n. an efficient person
  • n. any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks
  • n. an intricate organization that accomplishes its goals efficiently

Etymologies

French, from Old French, from Latin māchina, from Greek mākhanā, dialectal variant of mēkhanē; see magh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowing from Middle French machine, from Latin machina ("a machine, engine, contrivance, device, stratagem, trick"), from Ancient Greek μαχανά (makhana), Doric spelling of μηχανή (mēkhanē, "a machine, engine, contrivance, device"), from μῆχος (mēkhos, "means"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That to steer a machine so constructed, it is merely necessary to move the point of attachment of car to _machine_ proper, out of the center of plane of support in the desired direction, and thus cause the plane of support or rotation of propellers to incline in that direction.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 443, June 28, 1884

  • To say, _This machine is the BEST OF ANY machine_ (or _any other machine_), is wrong, because all machines are meant, not one machine or some machines.

    Practical Grammar and Composition

  • To say, _This machine is BETTER THAN ANY machine_, is incorrect, but to say, _This machine is better THAN ANY OTHER machine_, is correct.

    Practical Grammar and Composition

  • Their fightin '_machine_ is good, mind ye; but it ain't no more nor less'n a red sausage machine whin iverythin's considered!

    Where the Souls of Men are Calling

  • If you have a machine problem, we ask that they use the hashtag #machine.

    Standing FIRM

  • 'rvmroot / components' -- exclude 'rvmroot / dist' $localrvmroot $machine: $remotervmroot where: localrvmroot is the directory of your local world machine is the ssh style machine description

    Dashboard RSS Feed

  • The term machine gun had not yet entered military jargon or the public imagination, but here was the forerunner: the 1862 Gatling, the first reasonably reliable weapon that could provide continuous rifle fire.

    The Gun

  • The spin machine is working overtime … and the stupid half of the public believes every word of it.

    Think Progress » Using Double Standard, Conservatives Absolve Bush For ‘Domestic Attacks’ On His Watch

  • Clearly the Labour spin machine is taking it so, having rushed the little known Lady Royall on to the top of the Andrew Marr programme to give the usual platitudes on these occasions.

    This must be serious

  • The Democratic spin machine is going to keep stating that it is and Obama will keep insisting that it isn't in public.

    Obama: Race not 'overriding issue' in criticism

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