machine

noun, often attributive
ma·​chine | \ mə-ˈshēn How to pronounce machine (audio) \

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 How to pronounce machineability (audio) \ noun
machinable or less commonly machineable \ -​ˈshē-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce machineable (audio) \ 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

To add some predictability to an energy source of the future, Alphabet (the parent company of Google) is digging into its machine learning know-how. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Google And DeepMind Algorithms Could Make Wind Power More Efficient," 27 Feb. 2019 In fact, the entire 12-volume series sat on a shelf in my cabin, above the Nespresso machine. Mark Rozzo, Town & Country, "Introducing Blackberry Mountain, the Idyllic New Resort from Blackberry Farm," 11 Feb. 2019 Even Microsoft, which abandoned the mobile-phone market, has carved out a flourishing hardware business with its Surface machines and Xbox videogame console. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Amazon Takes Market Cap Crown, Cementing Tech Power," 7 Jan. 2019 After Line Storm, Musk said, The Boring Company would build its first boring machine from the ground up, which will be called Prufrock. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Ars takes a first tour of the length of The Boring Company’s test tunnel," 19 Dec. 2018 Washing machines without agitators are gentler and allow more room for shoes to move freely. Isadora Baum, SELF, "Here’s How to Clean Sneakers Depending on the Material," 17 Feb. 2019 In our tests, this machine earned high scores at nearly every task, including kneading bread dough and shredding mozzarella cheese. Betty Gold, Good Housekeeping, "The 7 Best Food Processors to Buy, According to Kitchen Appliance Experts," 1 Feb. 2019 William and Kate, along with Kate's private secretary, Catherin Quinn, waved goodbye to the children and walked through a snow machine. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince William and Kate Middleton Got Caught in an Adorable Snowball Fight," 4 Dec. 2018 More information can be generated, and with artificial intelligence and machine learning, information and energy can both be more intelligently managed. David Roberts, Vox, "Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt.," 30 Nov. 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 Mar 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 How to pronounce machine (audio) \

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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