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

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 Tumble dryers are a home appliance that many of us take for granted. Terry Baddoo, USA TODAY, 27 Apr. 2022 The Béaba Babycook is a four-in-one (steamer, blender, defroster and reheater) appliance that turns raw proteins, vegetables, and fruits into baby food in just 15 minutes. Shani Hillian, Bon Appétit, 18 Apr. 2022 An outdoor wok burner was not a common appliance, even in Asian countries. Rachel Ng, Outside Online, 15 Oct. 2021 Often, the culprit is a common household appliance that malfunctions or is used improperly. NBC News, 29 Apr. 2021 But if your van, Airstream, or RV is large enough, there are a few reputable appliance makers with 30-inch models, the best of which is the Bertazzoni Master Series Freestanding Electric ($3,899). Hannah Selinger, Outside Online, 23 Apr. 2022 That included a 15-minute segment on appliance manufacturer Whirlpool and his desire to repeal regulations on water flow to dishwashers. cleveland, 23 Apr. 2022 The refrigerators were sold at Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy and other home improvement and appliance stores, said the Consumer Product Safety Commission in a statement. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, 20 Apr. 2022 Test Kitchen vouches for another option offered by appliance manufacturer Breville, which is warm water combined with a Magic Eraser. Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of appliance

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of appliance was in 1555

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Appliance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for appliance


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

More from Merriam-Webster on appliance

Nglish: Translation of appliance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of appliance for Arabic Speakers


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