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 As with any large appliance, reliable and effective systems are critical for a user safety. Paul Vosper, Forbes, "Top Five Critical Features When Selecting A Commercial EV Charger," 11 May 2021 The cluster of businesses there includes a Family Dollar store, a mobile phone shop, a furniture and appliance rental center, two loan stores and a Bank of America cash machine. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, "'From laughing and music to yelling and crying' - 6-year-old slain during West Side car meet," 10 May 2021 Smartphone, auto and appliance production is being sidelined by a shortage of computer chips. Matt Egan, CNN, "New homes cost $36,000 more because of an epic shortage of lumber," 5 May 2021 The bipartisan legislation to curb HFCs enjoyed broad support from both political parties, environmental groups, and the appliance and chemical industries. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "EPA moves to curb potent greenhouse gas coolants in first Biden climate regulation," 3 May 2021 Donald Trump never submitted the treaty for Senate ratification, and his deputies reversed a rule requiring companies to detect and repair leaks from any appliance or piece of equipment using more than 50 pounds of HFCs. Anchorage Daily News, "EPA will propose phasing down hydrocarbons, a set of climate super-pollutants, by 2036," 3 May 2021 Perhaps the most common reason an appliance stops working is due to the power source. Karen Wytmans, Better Homes & Gardens, "Learning Simple Appliance Repairs on YouTube Saved Me So Much Money," 27 Apr. 2021 Even a small amount of dust on the coils — beneath or behind your refrigerator — can significantly reduce the appliance’s energy efficiency. Washington Post, "20 ideas to help you go green in the kitchen," 26 Apr. 2021 This essential safety feature eliminates the possibility of hot oil spilling from the appliance due to tugging on the cord. Erica Van Blommestein,, "The best basket deep fryer," 17 Apr. 2021

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

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Appliance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for appliance



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

Comments on appliance

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