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 For a broken appliance, be ready to provide the make and model number and specifics about what’s wrong. Consumers’ Checkbook,, "Home repairs during coronavirus pandemic," 31 July 2020 For a space-saving appliance that will do all the things, check out this Dash clear-view toaster, which is currently up for grabs for $38.10 in the black hue—23% off its usual $49.35. Nicole Briese, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this Monday," 6 July 2020 The solution, scientists found, was the multicooker, a kitchen appliance that, in recent years, has become the in-gadget for cooking food. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, "Scientists at DHS labs are uncovering the secrets of coronavirus," 29 June 2020 If any of this sounds like the making of the menu of your dreams, a kitchen blender should be at the top of your small appliance wish list. Lesley Kennedy, CNN Underscored, "The best blenders of 2020," 9 July 2020 In addition to convenient LED lighting, this frost-free appliance circulates air to maintain food freshness. Mark Heim |, al, "Post July 4 deal: Sears’ appliance sale of up to 40 percent off ends today," 7 July 2020 For aspiring pizza-making aficionados, there are indoor appliance options to turn your dough, sauce, cheese, and other toppings into a delicious pie. Popular Science, "Indoor pizza maker for excellent DIY pies," 7 July 2020 Major appliance-makers are sowing their own indoor gardening dreams. Mandy Behbehani,, "Pandemic gardening moves indoors with a smart garden in the kitchen," 3 July 2020 Simply preheat your air fryer to 360°F to 400°F (see what the manual for your specific appliance says), then spray the basket with nonstick spray, add the frozen fish, and close the air fryer to begin cooking. Karla Walsh, Better Homes & Gardens, "Air-Fryer Fish Recipes That'll Have You Reaching for Seconds," 23 June 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

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Appliance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 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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