me·​chan·​i·​cal | \ mi-ˈka-ni-kəl How to pronounce mechanical (audio) \

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

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Other Words from mechanical


mechanically \ mi-​ˈka-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce mechanically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for mechanical

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Ukrainian officials, for their part, initially agreed with Iranian suspicions that the 3½-year-old plane was brought down by mechanical trouble, but later backed away from that and declined to offer a cause while the investigation is ongoing. NBC News, "U.S. evidence suggests Iranian missile shot down Ukrainian plane by mistake, sources say," 9 Jan. 2020 This rotation is mechanical and can be triggered without laying a hand on the TV. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "LG and Samsung TVs at CES: Bezel-free, smaller OLEDs, and more," 6 Jan. 2020 To know the exact condition of the mechanical components here would require a road test, but the seller says the brakes (master cylinder, booster, rear shoes and cylinders, and fluid) were all replaced in 2019, and new KYB shocks were installed. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, "1-Owner Datsun 240Z Relives Nissan's Glory Days in Glorious Orange," 4 Jan. 2020 There was no vaccine and no effective treatment for SARS, aside from supportive steps such as mechanical breathing support and the administration of steroids to reduce lung inflammation. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "Novel human virus? Pneumonia cases linked to seafood market in China stir concern," 3 Jan. 2020 The state medical examiner confirmed that Kizer's death was accidental and consistent with mechanical asphyxia, LMPD Maj. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Funeral arrangements set for LMPD tow truck driver who died on the job," 3 Jan. 2020 Artificial intelligence algorithms are creating portraits, movies, and music, though the results are often … mechanical. Wired, "What Happens When Machines Find Their Creative Muse," 29 Nov. 2019 In Houston, the typical inspections are mechanical, structural, and termite, but can often include additional ones, such as stucco or mold inspections, depending on the particular property. Michelle Sandlin, Houston Chronicle, "On the Move: Here’s what relocation home buyers need to know about negotiating repairs," 2 Nov. 2019 There was also a possibility of mechanical failure., "News of the Day From Around the World," 15 Dec. 2019

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 2

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Time Traveler for mechanical

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for mechanical

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mechanical.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for mechanical


How to pronounce mechanical (audio)

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


me·​chan·​i·​cal | \ mi-ˈka-ni-kəl How to pronounce mechanical (audio) \

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 How to pronounce mechanical (audio) \

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 How to pronounce mechanically (audio) \ 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).


to insert between existing elements

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