ma·​chin·​ery | \mə-ˈshē-nə-rē, -ˈshēn-rē\
plural machineries

Definition of machinery 

1a : machines in general or as a functioning unit

b : the working parts of a machine

2 : the means or system by which something is kept in action or a desired result is obtained the machinery of government

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Examples of machinery in a Sentence

Some of the mill's machinery was damaged in the fire. a piece of farm machinery Something was clogging the machinery. The United Nations has set up machinery for mediation.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Spending in 2017 by firms on machinery and equipment reached C$296.67 billion, down nearly 7% from 2014 outlays, or the year before the global commodity-price swoon sideswiped Canada’s resource-reliant economy. Paul Vieira, WSJ, "Canada Unveils Tax Incentives to Offset Trump Effect," 21 Nov. 2018 With all the smoke, mirrors, and machinery involved, the tricks performed are super risky. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The Illusionists of 'America's Got Talent' Have a Surprisingly Familiar Face In Their Cast," 22 Aug. 2018 Since the Navy chair is a classic design and is made in a very particular way using specific machinery, Buchbinder has no intentions of changing it. Diana Budds, Curbed, "How Trump’s tariffs are affecting the furniture industry," 7 Aug. 2018 The person was likely trying to use the heavy farm machinery to create a fire break to hold back flames, the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Gillian Flaccus, The Seattle Times, "1 dead as latest fire portends explosive Northwest season," 19 July 2018 In either case, deli meat or another cheese that may be contaminated with harmful pathogens can spread bacteria with surprising efficiency if machinery or worker sanitation isn’t rigorously maintained. Liz Thorpe, Bon Appetit, "Wait, So What Cheese Can You Eat While Pregnant?," 23 Apr. 2018 His body was becoming like an unruly piece of heavy machinery he wasn’t licensed to operate. Rachael Combe, The Cut, "The Moment I Decided to Throw Out My Son’s Toy Weapons," 8 Mar. 2018 The six-year-old trade deal has allowed both countries to sell more than $60 billion in cars, machinery, and other goods to each other with few restrictions, and South Korea is now America’s sixth-largest trading partner. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Trump’s new trade deal with South Korea, explained," 24 Sep. 2018 Layout works somewhat more prosaically: Microsoft customers will create 3D models of machinery, desks, and other objects, then use Layout to place them on a factory floor, office, or retail space. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Dynamics 365 Remote Assist finally makes the HoloLens useful for anyone," 18 Sep. 2018

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

1687, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for machinery

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for machinery

The first known use of machinery was in 1687

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More Definitions for machinery



English Language Learners Definition of machinery

: machines of a particular kind or machines in general

: the working parts of a machine

: an organization or system by which something is done


ma·​chin·​ery | \mə-ˈshē-nə-rē, -ˈshēn-rē\

Kids Definition of machinery

1 : a group of devices with moving parts that are used to perform specific jobs

2 : the working parts of a device used to perform a particular job

3 : the people and equipment by which something is done the machinery of government

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Comments on machinery

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


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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