machine

noun, often attributive
ma·​chine | \ mə-ˈshēn \

Definition of machine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a archaic : a constructed thing whether material or immaterial
b : conveyance, vehicle especially : automobile
c archaic : a military engine
d : any of various apparatuses formerly used to produce stage effects
e(1) : an assemblage (see assemblage sense 1) of parts that transmit forces, motion, and energy one to another in a predetermined manner
(2) : an instrument (such as a lever) designed to transmit or modify the application of power, force, or motion
f : a mechanically, electrically, or electronically operated device for performing a task a machine for cleaning carpets
g : a coin-operated device a cigarette machine
h : machinery used with the or in plural
2a : a living organism or one of its functional systems
b : one that resembles a machine (as in being methodical, tireless, or consistently productive) a gifted publicist and quote machine— John Lancaster
c(1) : a combination of persons acting together for a common end along with the agencies they use building a powerful war machine
(2) : a highly organized political group under the leadership of a boss or small clique a politician who challenged the local party machine
3 : a literary device or contrivance introduced for dramatic effect

machine

verb
machined; machining

Definition of machine (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to process by or as if by machine especially : to reduce or finish by or as if by turning, shaping, planing, or milling by machine-operated tools

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Other Words from machine

Verb

machinability or less commonly machineability \ -​ˌshē-​nə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
machinable or less commonly machineable \ -​ˈshē-​nə-​bəl \ adjective

Synonyms for machine

Synonyms: Noun

engine, motor

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Examples of machine in a Sentence

Noun

Shovels are tools; bulldozers are machines. Do you know how to operate this machine? The machine is working properly. He was bragging about his new machine. The coach turned the team into a scoring machine. My younger brother is an eating machine. a politician who dared to challenge the local party machine Their army is a well-oiled machine.

Verb

The parts of the engine have been precisely machined.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Enthusiasm for a return to democracy is high, but is tempered with an awareness that new election rules handicap the political machine of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, which has easily won every national election since 2001. Jerry Harmer, The Seattle Times, "Candidates register for 1st Thai general election since coup," 4 Feb. 2019 Before feeding ingredients into the processor’s tube, make sure to cut the food into small-sized chunks to avoid overloading the machine. Betty Gold, Good Housekeeping, "The 7 Best Food Processors to Buy, According to Kitchen Appliance Experts," 1 Feb. 2019 The machine won't move or turn while a pet's inside (in theory). Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "How Much Litter Box Do You Really Get for $500?," 23 Jan. 2019 The revolutionary machine known to relieve tight muscles and tough-to-get knots is now lighter and better at preventing injuries than ever before. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "5 Easy Ways to Jump-Start Your Fitness Goals in 2019," 12 Jan. 2019 Later, though, a different representative told her that the machines that drop the chocolate sometimes malfunction, cutting off the tip, suggesting that the snipped kisses are not, in fact, intentional. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "2018 was a difficult year for cookies," 21 Dec. 2018 As the father went ahead, the child reportedly evaded staff and climbed into the machine. Fox News, "Boy in China captured on X-ray riding conveyor belt through train station security," 20 Oct. 2018 This time the county machine has endorsed Mr. Avella, the incumbent. New York Times, "John Liu Plots a Comeback Trail, Targeting a Renegade Democrat," 13 July 2018 But engineers are making steady progress in getting the machines to manipulate our world. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Robots Can't Hold Stuff Very Well. But You Can Help," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On my '90s bike, the axle itself nested in a notch machined into the frame. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "How bicycles have changed in the last 25 years," 10 Nov. 2018 Duvets cannot be used without a duvet cover, and, unlike the cover, require dry cleaning as opposed to machine wash. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Ultimate Guide to the Duvet Cover," 11 Oct. 2018 The failure was traced back to a tiny pipe that was machined only slightly imprecisely. Roma Agrawal, New York Times, "Under Modernity’s Hood: Precision Engineering," 14 May 2018 Directed by Gary Ross, who machined the script together with Olivia Milch (and the uncredited help of anyone who’s ever written a caper flick), the movie goes down relatively easy despite these nits. Gary Ross, New York Times, "Review: ‘Ocean’s 8’ Women Walk Away With a Male Franchise. Sort Of.," 5 June 2018 Molds for climbing holds were machined by a CNC mill. Jenny Earnest, Outside Online, "How Two Scientists Will Build Mountains," 30 Apr. 2018 In an effort to reduce weight and increase fuel economy, today's rotors are very thin and cannot be machined in most cases. Bob Weber, chicagotribune.com, "Do drivers not use their blinkers anymore or are they low on blinker fluid?," 24 June 2017 What happened to rebuilding calipers and machining rotors? Bob Weber, chicagotribune.com, "Do drivers not use their blinkers anymore or are they low on blinker fluid?," 24 June 2017 Most notably, The Field Company machined the cooking surface of their skillet to a high sheen so food is less likely to stick; a detail that helps with things like grabbing and flipping over-easy eggs. Jakob Schiller, Outside Online, "The Field Skillet Is a Modern Spin on an Old Favorite," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'machine.' 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 machine

Noun

circa 1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1853, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for machine

Noun

Middle French, from Latin machina, from Greek mēchanē (Doric dialect machana), from mēchos means, expedient — more at may

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Statistics for machine

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for machine

The first known use of machine was circa 1545

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More Definitions for machine

machine

noun

English Language Learners Definition of machine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a piece of equipment with moving parts that does work when it is given power from electricity, gasoline, etc.
informal : a vehicle (such as a car or motorcycle)
: a person or group that does something efficiently, quickly, or repeatedly like a machine

machine

verb

English Language Learners Definition of machine (Entry 2 of 2)

: to shape (something) by using a machine

machine

noun
ma·​chine | \ mə-ˈshēn \

Kids Definition of machine

1 : a device with moving parts that does some desired work when it is provided with power a sewing machine
2 : vehicle sense 1 a flying machine

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Comments on machine

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