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 mechanical (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for mechanical

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

  • nonmechanical
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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 Botulism poisoning can cause paralysis of the breathing muscles, which can result in death unless assistance with breathing (mechanical ventilation) is provided. Mike Wehner, BGR, "If you bought this product from Costco, throw it away," 26 Apr. 2021 The Indian government has approved the drug for emergency use within hospitals, though the World Health Organization (WHO) says evidence does not suggest the drug lessens the risk of dying from Covid-19 or needing mechanical ventilation. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "India's second Covid wave hits like a 'tsunami' as hospitals buckle under weight," 21 Apr. 2021 Such patients are often placed on mechanical ventilation and then ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, in which a machine takes over the functions of the heart and lungs. NBC News, "Covid disease damage leading to 'completely new category' of organ transplants," 12 Apr. 2021 As such widespread worldwide use of mechanical ventilation has occurred in the past 15 months, there may be more patients who would be candidates for tracheal transplantation in the years ahead. Nina Shapiro, Forbes, "Woman Takes A Deep Breath After First Successful Tracheal Transplant," 6 Apr. 2021 The Bucks were delayed leaving the Washington, D.C., airport due a mechanical issue with a plane. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The champagne-soaked newspaper coverage of the Milwaukee Bucks' 1971 NBA title," 28 Apr. 2021 But due to a mechanical issue in Perth, the plane took off more than five hours late and landed in Brisbane after 1 a.m. on the 24th, according to reporting from CNN affiliate 9 News. Lilit Marcus, CNN, "A domestic flight in Australia was delayed so long passengers had to quarantine," 27 Apr. 2021 The ferry, which was supposed to depart Ketchikan at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, was delayed because of a mechanical issue with the starboard main engine, Dapcevich wrote in a message. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "2 more virus cases reported among crew of Alaska ferry now delayed by engine trouble in Ketchikan," 26 Apr. 2021 When the Advance Flyer was forced to stop in Naperville because of a mechanical issue, caution signals were the only things alerting the second locomotive’s engineer that there was a problem ahead. Rafael Guerrero,, "How the 1946 disaster in Naperville resulted in limits being placed on train speeds," 24 Apr. 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mechanical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for mechanical



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 mechanical (audio) \ adverb

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