mechanical

adjective
me·​chan·​i·​cal | \ mi-ˈka-ni-kəl \

Definition of mechanical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : of or relating to machinery (see machinery sense 1) or tools mechanical applications of science a mechanical genius mechanical aptitude
(2) : produced or operated by a machine or tool mechanical power a mechanical refrigerator a mechanical saw
b : of or relating to manual operations
2 : of or relating to artisans (see artisan sense 1) or machinists the mechanical trades
3a : done as if by machine : seemingly uninfluenced by the mind or emotions : automatic busy in a leisurely mechanical way— Douglas Stewart
b : of or relating to technicalities or petty matters nor was any capacity shown for anything above a mechanical handling of the matter— H. O. Taylor
4a : relating to, governed by, or in accordance with the principles of mechanics mechanical energy
b : relating to the quantitative relations of force and matter mechanical pressure of wind on a tower
5 : caused by, resulting from, or relating to a process that involves a purely physical as opposed to a chemical or biological change or process mechanical erosion of rock

mechanical

noun

Definition of mechanical (Entry 2 of 2)

1 obsolete : mechanic sense 1
2 : a piece of finished copy consisting typically of type proofs and artwork positioned and mounted for photomechanical reproduction

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from mechanical

Adjective

mechanically \ -​ni-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for mechanical

Synonyms: Adjective

automatic, instinctive, instinctual, involuntary, knee-jerk, mechanic, robotic, spontaneous

Antonyms: Adjective

nonmechanical

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for mechanical

Adjective

spontaneous, impulsive, instinctive, automatic, mechanical mean acting or activated without deliberation. spontaneous implies lack of prompting and connotes naturalness. a spontaneous burst of applause impulsive implies acting under stress of emotion or spirit of the moment. impulsive acts of violence instinctive stresses action involving neither judgment nor will. blinking is an instinctive reaction automatic implies action engaging neither the mind nor the emotions and connotes a predictable response. his denial was automatic mechanical stresses the lifeless, often perfunctory character of the response. a mechanical teaching method

Examples of mechanical in a Sentence

Adjective

The flight was delayed because of mechanical problems. I was impressed by her mechanical know-how. She gave a mechanical reply. Copying down the numbers is a boring and mechanical job. The actor gave a stiff and mechanical performance.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

After diverting to an airfield in Newfoundland because of a passenger’s medical emergency Saturday night, United Flight 179 couldn’t take off because of a mechanical problem. Alison Sider, WSJ, "United Airlines to Review ‘Worst Travel Nightmare’," 21 Jan. 2019 Doing so would have presented a mechanical problem, for one thing: Physical film moved through a camera as sprockets caught holes along the side—there was a limit to how quickly the film could move. Eleanor Hildebrandt, Popular Mechanics, "The True Story of the Lost Sci-Fi Movie "Brainstorm," Natalie Wood’s Last Film," 21 Dec. 2018 Things immediately start going wrong when the Nightflyer experiences a series of mysterious mechanical problems that Eris cryptically promises to get under control. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers asks whether humanity deserves to be saved," 29 Nov. 2018 Passengers on a Capital Airlines flight to eastern China feared for their lives Sunday when the plane experienced mechanical problems, causing it to rapidly lose altitude. Fox News, "Capital Airlines passengers terrified over midair drop: 'I don't want to die'," 27 Aug. 2018 The show’s report also repeated a long-running accusation by the pilots union that the airline discourages pilots from reporting mechanical problems with planes. Hugo Martin, latimes.com, "Allegiant pilots vote to strike if dispute over scheduling system isn't resolved," 9 July 2018 Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott drove the 23 Friday night at Daytona, but the car dropped out with mechanical problems. Edgar Thompson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Patriotism gets big boost at Daytona," 8 July 2018 While 22 competitors began this year’s race, the majority of the 11 pulled out Sunday due to mechanical problems. Seth Schwartz, chicagotribune.com, "A Hinsdale man sailed solo from Chicago to Mackinac Island, Mich., for the 10th time," 29 June 2018 You might be reassured if the pilot said everything was checked out for safety after recent news about mechanical problems. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "How can Fed make investors uncertain? U-M professor says it's obvious," 22 June 2018

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Noun

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mechanical

Share mechanical

Statistics for mechanical

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mechanical

The first known use of mechanical was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mechanical

mechanical

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of mechanical

: of or relating to machinery
: having or using machinery
disapproving : happening or done without thought or without any effort to be different or interesting

mechanical

adjective
me·​chan·​i·​cal | \ mi-ˈka-ni-kəl \

Kids Definition of mechanical

1 : of or relating to machinery He has mechanical skill.
2 : made or operated by a machine a mechanical toy
3 : done or produced as if by a machine Charles Wallace … started to walk in a strange, gliding, mechanical manner.— Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

Other Words from mechanical

mechanically adverb

mechanical

adjective
me·​chan·​i·​cal | \ mi-ˈkan-i-kəl \

Medical Definition of mechanical

1 : relating to the quantitative relations of force and matter mechanical pressure exerted by the bubbles in the tissues— H. G. Armstrong
2 : caused by, resulting from, or relating to physical as opposed to biological or chemical processes or change mechanical injury mechanical asphyxiation

Other Words from mechanical

mechanically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on mechanical

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

WORD OF THE DAY

esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!