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

  • adj. Mechanically determined.
  • adj. Philosophy Of or relating to the philosophy of mechanism, especially tending to explain phenomena only by reference to physical or biological causes.
  • adj. Automatic and impersonal; mechanical.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having the impersonal and automatic characteristics of a machine
  • adj. Predetermined by, or as if by, a mechanism
  • adj. Having a physical or biological cause

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to mechanism or to mechanists: as, “mechanistic combination,”

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

  • adj. explained in terms of physical forces
  • adj. of or relating to the philosophical theory of mechanism


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Pivar says he's been working for years in the Thompson tradition, which he characterizes as a mechanistic approach to evolution, using lab simulations, algorithms and topology.


  • All evolutionary theories must offer an explanation in mechanistic terms of how it should or could have happened in order to be tested.

    A critique on the endosymbiotic theory for the origin of mitochondria

  • Somehow you seem to think that the mere offering of what you term a mechanistic model with no evidence (nor even much of an explanation) trumps other concepts and makes you "scientific" and others not.

    A Third Choice (ID Hypothesis)

  • I suggest scientific patience is quickly running out since inventors are already using applied quantum mechanics and there are two main mechanistic explanations.

    Cleaning Up The Mess

  • This sort of thing suggests that minds are grounded in mechanistic biology, rather than the other way around.

    A Useless Critic

  • In typography, a slab serif (also called mechanistic, square serif or Egyptian) typeface is a type of serif typeface characterized by thick, block-like serifs.


  • Pictures of Canadian oil refineries, shot as if advertising their pipes and chimneys, recall the mechanistic precision of Charles Sheeler's 1920s paintings of Ford's River Rouge plant.

    The Washington Times stories: Latest Headlines

  • Personally, I am looking forward to his coming examination of the supposed conflict concerning ID and a "mechanistic" perspective.

    Antony Flew dies at 87

  • This, it soon becomes clear, involves embracing beauty and love, and rejecting the Enlightenment, or what he calls the "mechanistic" values of the Enlightenment, and Modernism.

    Christina Patterson: What I Learnt from Prince Charles

  • Hmm. This makes your mention of "mechanistic" in your first point even more difficult to understand.

    Aiguy's Computer


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