apparatus

noun
ap·​pa·​ra·​tus | \ ˌa-pə-ˈra-təs How to pronounce apparatus (audio) , -ˈrā- How to pronounce apparatus (audio) \
plural apparatuses or apparatus

Definition of apparatus

1a : 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 an apparatus for measuring vision
2 : the functional processes by means of which a systematized activity is carried out the apparatus of society : such as
a : the machinery of government
b : the organization of a political party or an underground movement

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of apparatus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Ta Shu joined in, doing his best to imitate the tone if not the soaring range of the little cousins, which was completely beyond the human vocal apparatus. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Read an excerpt from Kim Stanley Robinson’s next book," 18 Oct. 2018 During those decades, satellites had become linchpins of the American military apparatus and the global economy. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space," 26 June 2018 The apparatus needed for deceleration would be too heavy. The Economist, "Colonising the galaxy is hard. Why not send bacteria instead?," 12 Apr. 2018 Since Trump’s abrupt Syria announcement last month, a tug of war with allies and his advisers has roiled the national security apparatus over how, and whether, to execute a pullout. John Hudson, The Seattle Times, "Many of Trump’s advisers tried to derail Syria withdrawal," 13 Jan. 2019 The regime must be compelled to open up the country by dismantling the internal surveillance apparatus verifiably and irreversibly, as well as by normalizing travel. Claudia Rosett, WSJ, "Only Freedom Can Disarm Kim," 31 May 2018 Ball’s discipline, called aerial circus and popularized by Cirque du Soleil, entails doing tricks on fabric, rope, trapeze, hoop, or other apparatuses suspended in the air. Susie Armitage, SELF, "This Is How an Aerial Performer Restarted Her Career After Having Both Feet Amputated," 23 Jan. 2019 Zenit and his colleagues were able to replicate the patterns formed by this technique using their own experimental apparatus, essentially placing a dense fluid on top of a lighter one. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study: modern masters like Jackson Pollock were “intuitive physicists”," 26 Dec. 2018 The four-time Olympic gold medalist dominated the U.S. Gymnastics Championships by not only winning a record fifth all-around title, but literally winning gold on every apparatus—floor exercise, balance beam, vault, and uneven bars—as well. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Simone Biles Made Gymnastics History in a Leotard Honoring Fellow Sexual Abuse Survivors," 20 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apparatus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of apparatus

circa 1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for apparatus

borrowed from Latin apparātus "act of preparing, display, trappings, equipment," from apparāre "to make ready, make preparations for" (from ad- ad- + parāre "to supply, provide, make ready") + -tus, suffix of verbal nouns — more at pare

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about apparatus

Statistics for apparatus

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for apparatus

The first known use of apparatus was circa 1628

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for apparatus

apparatus

noun

English Language Learners Definition of apparatus

: a tool or piece of equipment used for specific activities
: the organization or system used for doing or operating something

apparatus

noun
ap·​pa·​ra·​tus | \ ˌa-pə-ˈra-təs How to pronounce apparatus (audio) , -ˈrā-\
plural apparatuses or apparatus

Kids Definition of apparatus

: the equipment or material for a particular use or job gymnasium apparatus laboratory apparatus

apparatus

noun
ap·​pa·​ra·​tus | \ ˌap-ə-ˈrat-əs How to pronounce apparatus (audio) , -ˈrāt- How to pronounce apparatus (audio) \
plural apparatuses or apparatus

Medical Definition of apparatus

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on apparatus

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

a sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!