Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

apparatus

play
noun ap·pa·ra·tus \ˌa-pə-ˈra-təs, -ˈrā-\

Simple Definition of apparatus

  • : a tool or piece of equipment used for specific activities

  • : the organization or system used for doing or operating something

Full Definition of apparatus

plural ap·pa·ra·tus·es or ap·pa·ra·tus

  1. 1 a :  a set of materials or equipment designed for a particular use b :  a group of anatomical or cytological parts functioning together <mitotic apparatus> c :  an instrument or appliance designed for a specific operation

  2. 2 :  the functional processes by means of which a systematized activity is carried out <the apparatus of society>: as a :  the machinery of government b :  the organization of a political party or an underground movement

Examples of apparatus

  1. She fell off a gymnastics apparatus and broke her leg.

  2. <the hospital's operating rooms boast the very latest medical apparatus>



Origin of apparatus

Latin, from apparare to prepare, from ad- + parare to prepare — more at pare


First Known Use: circa 1628

Rhymes with apparatus


APPARATUS Defined for Kids

apparatus

play
noun ap·pa·ra·tus \ˌa-pə-ˈra-təs, -ˈrā-\

Definition of apparatus

plural ap·pa·ra·tus·es or apparatus

  1. :  the equipment or material for a particular use or job <gymnasium apparatus> <laboratory apparatus>




Medical Dictionary

apparatus

play play
noun ap·pa·ra·tus \ˌap-ə-ˈrat-əs, -ˈrāt-\

Medical Definition of apparatus

plural ap·pa·ra·tus·es or ap·pa·ra·tus

  1. :  a group of anatomical and cytological parts having a common function <the respiratory apparatus>—see golgi apparatus





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up apparatus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift pince-nez duvet kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ