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



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

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Other Words from mechanical


mechanically \-ni-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for mechanical


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


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Pedro Castillo’s journey, from being born in Guatemala to earning his bachelor’s in mechanical and aerospace engineering from UCI, also serves as a window into the struggles of first-generation college graduates. Ben Brazil,, "Foreign-born students traverse borders and obstacles before graduating from UC Irvine," 22 June 2018 The College of Engineering and Enbridge are partnering to introduce middle and high school students to fundamental concepts of civil, mechanical, electrical and computer engineering through hands-on, laboratory and classroom experiences. Douglas Clark, Post-Tribune, "Guest column: Summer camps abound at Purdue University Northwest," 31 May 2018 This summer, mechanical and cosmetic upgrades are slated for Cy-Fall, Cy-Springs and Langham Creek High Schools. Lindsay Peyton, Houston Chronicle, "Summer means construction for Cy-Fair ISD," 25 May 2018 Winning second place and a $2,000 cash award was Case Western mechanical and aerospace engineering major Prince Ghosh of Boundary Robotics. Justin Madden,, "300-gallon spill closes portion of I-480, police say," 19 Apr. 2018 It is budgeted at $4.5 million and will include replacing the roof and windows, installing new mechanical and electrical systems and enhancing the interior. Forrest Sellers,, "Bring on the puppets. Madcap Theatre getting new home in Westwood.," 10 Apr. 2018 The lease agreement between Massachusetts and Connecticut calls for MassDOT to put all the cars in service ready condition, including doing all necessary mechanical and safety upgrades. Gregory B. Hladky,, "State Lawmakers Seek Hearing On Hartford Line Rail Car Lease Controversy," 9 Apr. 2018 The Metro had big mechanical and safety problems a couple of years ago. Carl Nolte, San Francisco Chronicle, "Seeing San Francisco through new eyes after trip to tidy D.C.," 10 Mar. 2018 Fuhrer said the renovation to the mechanical systems will cost $1 million while the improvements to the public address system will be $250,000. Steve Sadin,, "Smoothie and coffee bar, upgraded HVAC system will greet Deerfield H.S. students this fall," 9 July 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.

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First Known Use of mechanical


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


1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to mechanical

mechanical pencil

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Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for mechanical

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

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English Language Learners Definition of mechanical

: of or relating to machinery

: having or using machinery

: happening or done without thought or without any effort to be different or interesting


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


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

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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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