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

These machines can help clean up dingy arms and headrests on your furniture, not to mention spots on carpets, rugs, and car interiors. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean a Couch Like a Pro," 29 Mar. 2019 Tenzi started giving sewing lessons last year, teaching the class using old-fashioned treadle machines because City of Hope wasn’t on the electrical grid. Shay Maunz, Glamour, "This Young Woman Is Fighting Poverty in Tanzania by Teaching Women to Make Clothes," 8 Mar. 2019 For this same reason, functional exercises require free weights, not machines. Amy Marturana, SELF, "Here's What Functional Training Is and Why It's Important," 7 Mar. 2019 The hotel’s owners claim the building can withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and has six pumping machines if the quarry ever floods. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Shanghai luxury hotel is built inside an abandoned quarry," 5 Dec. 2018 Republicans plan to probe allegations that touch screen machines in Allegheny County were not properly calibrated and could have possibly registered votes for Lamb when the voter intended to vote for Saccone. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Pennsylvania special election may see recount; Lamb, Saccone separated by razor-thin margin," 2 Oct. 2018 Nielsen and a growing number of researchers want to hijack the biochemical processes of living cells to turn them into microscopic cyborgs — part living things, part programmable machines. Eric Smalley, Discover Magazine, "Cellular Cyborgs: How Programmable DNA Strands Might Control Healing," 25 Sep. 2018 And besides, the belief that voters are calculating machines who carefully weigh policies before opting for whoever offers them the best deal, is hard to sustain. The Economist, "Fork in the roadShould the party move to the left or to the centre?," 12 July 2018 Thankfully, sweat, odors, dust, and dirt can all be removed with pretty much just a wipe — some mats are even machine washable. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "Here's Exactly How to Clean Your Yoga Mat," 6 Mar. 2019

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

8 Apr 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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