ap·​pli·​ance | \ ə-ˈplī-ən(t)s How to pronounce appliance (audio) \
plural appliances

Definition of appliance

1 : an act of applying
2a : a piece of equipment for adapting a tool or machine to a special purpose : attachment
b : an instrument or device designed for a particular use or function an orthodontic appliance specifically : a household or office device (such as a stove, fan, or refrigerator) operated by gas or electric current
c British : fire engine
d : an artificial part or mask that is worn as part of an actor's makeup or costume … more grown-ups are shelling out for scary facial appliances—wounds, snouts and horns—to create the creepy characters they've dreamed up on their own.— Dana Coffield
e computing : information appliance A growing number of companies are coming up with ways [in 2000] to turn ordinary phones into Internet appliances.— Sharon Cleary
3 obsolete : compliance

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Choose the Right Synonym for appliance

implement, tool, instrument, appliance, utensil mean a relatively simple device for performing work. implement may apply to anything necessary to perform a task. crude stone implements farm implements tool suggests an implement adapted to facilitate a definite kind or stage of work and suggests the need of skill more strongly than implement. a carpenter's tools instrument suggests a device capable of delicate or precise work. the dentist's instruments appliance refers to a tool or instrument utilizing a power source and suggests portability or temporary attachment. household appliances utensil applies to a device used in domestic work or some routine unskilled activity. kitchen utensils

Examples of appliance in a Sentence

All household appliances are now on sale. since the invention of the cork, all manner of appliances have been invented for the extraction of these sometimes troublesome stoppers
Recent Examples on the Web Home Depot Home Depot is offering 40 percent off appliances. Mark Heim |, al, "Memorial Day 2020 sales: Amazon, Nordstrom, Home Depot, Wayfair, Stars & Stripes face masks and more," 16 May 2020 Learning how to clean your air fryer is as simple as following a few straightforward steps, which just might include loading up the dishwasher with the appliance's accessories and giving the rest of the unit a good wipe down. Southern Living, "Cleaning Your Air Fryer Is Not a Dreadable Task," 16 May 2020 Radical changes meant to revive the company — including ending coupons and clearance sales in an attempt to capture more upscale shoppers, and introducing household appliances — proved to be spectacular failures that were quickly undone. Chris Isidore, CNN, "JCPenney files for bankruptcy," 15 May 2020 Keep an appliance thermometer in the freezer to monitor the temperature. Washington Post, "The big chill: A guide to using your freezer," 13 May 2020 Instead, focus on seeing structural stuff, such as the home’s foundation, wires, and appliances. Nena Farrell, Sunset Magazine, "House Hunting During the Pandemic? Here’s Your Do’s and Don’ts for Virtual Home Tours," 12 May 2020 Basically, Wink exists to simplify life for someone whose lights, locks, thermostat, cameras, and appliances all come from different brands and therefore need different apps to operate. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Wink smart hub users get one week’s notice to pay up or lose access," 7 May 2020 Items not accepted include tires, appliances containing Freon, propane tanks and hazardous waste. cleveland, "Avon Lake family’s 3D printing project helps face masks fit comfortably: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 1 May 2020 These mega sheets are perfect for use in today's larger capacity appliances. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "GH Seal Spotlight: Bounce WrinkleGuard Mega Sheet Dryer Sheets," 30 Apr. 2020

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

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First Known Use of appliance

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for appliance

Time Traveler

The first known use of appliance was in 1555

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Statistics for appliance

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Appliance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for appliance


How to pronounce appliance (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of appliance

: a machine (such as a stove, microwave, or dishwasher) that is powered by electricity and that is used in people's houses to perform a particular job


ap·​pli·​ance | \ ə-ˈplī-əns How to pronounce appliance (audio) \

Kids Definition of appliance

: a piece of household equipment that performs a particular job


ap·​pli·​ance | \ ə-ˈplī-ən(t)s How to pronounce appliance (audio) \

Medical Definition of appliance

: an instrument or device designed for a particular use prosthetic appliances an orthodontic appliance used to move misaligned teeth into proper occlusion

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