Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A machine or mechanical appliance.
  • noun The arrangement of connected parts in a machine.
  • noun A system of parts that operate or interact like those of a machine.
  • noun An instrument or a process, physical or mental, by which something is done or comes into being.
  • noun A habitual manner of acting to achieve an end.
  • noun Psychology A usually unconscious mental and emotional pattern that shapes behavior in a given situation or environment.
  • noun The sequence of steps in a chemical reaction.
  • noun Philosophy The doctrine that all natural phenomena are explicable by material causes and mechanical principles.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The structure of a machine, engine, or other contrivance for controlling or utilizing natural forces; the arrangement and relation of parts, or the parts collectively, in any machine, tool, or other contrivance; means of mechanical action; machinery; hence, the structure of anything that is conceived to resemble a machine.
  • noun A mechanical contrivance or agency of any kind; in general, the apparatus, means, or mode by which particular effects are produced or purposes accomplished: as, the mechanism of a musical instrument (the apparatus by means of which the performer acts upon it); the mechanism of a play or of a poem; the mechanism of government.
  • noun Action according to the laws of mechanics; mechanical action.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The arrangement or relation of the parts of a machine; the parts of a machine, taken collectively; the arrangement or relation of the parts of anything as adapted to produce an effect
  • noun The series of causal relations that operate to produce an effect in any system.
  • noun Mechanical operation or action.
  • noun (Kinematics) An ideal machine; a combination of movable bodies constituting a machine, but considered only with regard to relative movements.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Within a machine or machinery; any mechanical means for the conversion or control of motion, or the transmission or control of power
  • noun Any combination of cams, gears, links, belts, chains and logical mechanical elements
  • noun A group of objects or parts that interact together. (as in Political machine)
  • noun A mental, physical, or chemical process.
  • noun philosophy A theory that all natural phenomena can be explained by physical causes.

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

  • noun (philosophy) the philosophical theory that all phenomena can be explained in terms of physical or biological causes
  • noun device consisting of a piece of machinery; has moving parts that perform some function
  • noun a natural object resembling a machine in structure or function
  • noun the atomic process that occurs during a chemical reaction
  • noun the technical aspects of doing something

Etymologies

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

[New Latin mēchanismus, from Late Latin mēchanisma, from Greek mēkhanē, machine; see mechanic.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin mechanismus, from Greek μηχανή (mekhanē, "machine")

Examples

  • Just ONE gesture … the mechanism is already in place.

    Think Progress » ThinkFast: February 22, 2010

  • Eric: What other mechanism is there to defer taxes?

    Defending Social Security, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • This mechanism is a common one to RTD, so it's not surprising that it was used in CoE.

    Torchwood: CoE one more time

  • This mechanism is also the only practical implementation of a “just war” policy that we are ever likely to see.

    Letters to the Editor

  • It only precludes learning about the mechanism if in fact learning about the mechanism is a false category (which may or may not be true).

    Protein-protein Interactions

  • This mechanism is also the only practical implementation of a “just war” policy that we are ever likely to see.

    Letters to the Editor

  • Obviously a lot of times making decision to air-lift a person to the hospital like this is based on what we call the mechanism of injury.

    CNN Transcript Aug 17, 2007

  • In his search for a more elegant description of the solar system, Nicolas Copernicus was motivated by his desire to comprehend what he called The mechanism of the universe, wrought for us by a supremely good and orderly Creator, the system the best and most orderly artist of all framed for our sake.

    Privileged Planet

  • In his search for a more elegant description of the solar system, Nicolas Copernicus was motivated by his desire to comprehend what he called The mechanism of the universe, wrought for us by a supremely good and orderly Creator, the system the best and most orderly artist of all framed for our sake.

    June 8: Rot! Still no hellfire. But keep reading. It is

  • Taking that a step further, ISE's Miller says, some mobile operating systems have a non-executable heap, which he describes as a mechanism to hinder or block the execution of malicious code.

    Webwereld

Comments

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  • WeirdNet is teaching chemistry today.

    July 17, 2009