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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from machine

Verb

machinability or less commonly machineability \ mə-​ˌshē-​nə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce machineability (audio) \ noun
machinable or less commonly machineable \ mə-​ˈshē-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce machineable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for machine

Synonyms: Noun

engine, motor

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Although machine learning has already reached superhuman levels in board games like chess and Go, and computer games like Starcraft II and Dota, six-person no-limit Texas Hold ‘em represents, by some measures, a higher benchmark of difficulty. James Vincent, The Verge, "Facebook and CMU’s ‘superhuman’ poker AI beats human pros," 11 July 2019 Computer vision turns analogue forms into digitally searchable ones, and machine learning (ML) optimises loading. The Economist, "DigitisationDigitisation is helping to deliver goods faster," 11 July 2019 Graywater is water reused from bathroom sinks, showers, tubs and washing machines but not water from toilets, kitchen sinks, dishwashers or from washing dirty diapers. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Tanks, swales put rainwater to eco-friendly use," 11 July 2019 In an era of smartphones and machine learning, email probably seems like a quaint way to keep tabs on your creditworthiness. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "The simplest way to improve your credit score is by using your email," 10 July 2019 Some quantitative hedge funds, such as AQR Capital Management and Two Sigma, select securities based at least in part on models that use machine learning and artificial intelligence to decipher vast amounts of data. Matt Egan, CNN, "How hedge funds use drones, satellite images and web scraping to gain an edge," 10 July 2019 The researchers designed a machine-learning algorithm that could decode vibrations for specific keystrokes. Hamza Shaban, The Denver Post, "Hackers may glean your password by listening to how you type on your phone," 7 July 2019 Then the researchers used machine learning—sophisticated computer programs that can find connections among massive amounts of disparate data—to figure out how microbes might influence particular traits. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Gut bacteria could be key to producing tastier cow’s milk," 3 July 2019 Marines and sailors quickly encountered Japanese machine-gun fire when their boats got stuck on the reef at low tide. CBS News, "Graves of 30 U.S. Marines, sailors found on Pacific World War II battlefield," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There was one issue: the shovel handle was oval, while the attachments on the cross arm were machined for circular tubing. National Geographic, "Inside the Everest expedition that built the world’s highest weather station," 27 June 2019 But what Moy’s video does highlight is the level of detail and difficulty that Apple is putting into machining the Mac Pro grates. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "YouTuber proves Apple’s new Mac Pro would not actually grate cheese that great," 20 June 2019 Couldn't machine learning or AI or another hot tech buzzword wrangle the tags instead? Gretchen Mcculloch, WIRED, "Fans Are Better Than Tech at Organizing Information Online," 11 June 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about machine

Statistics for machine

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for machine

The first known use of machine was circa 1545

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on machine

What made you want to look up machine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!