Definition of mechanism
1a : a piece of machinery (see machinery 1) The camera's shutter mechanism is broken.b : a process, technique, or system for achieving a result the mechanisms of peace — F. D. Roosevelt
3 : a doctrine that holds natural processes (as of life) to be mechanically determined and capable of complete explanation by the laws of physics and chemistry
4 : the fundamental processes involved in or responsible for an action, reaction, or other natural phenomenon meteorologists believe that this pressure jump is the mechanism responsible for storms and tornadoes — Think — compare defense mechanism
Examples of mechanism in a Sentence
The camera's shutter mechanism is broken.
Scientists are studying the body's mechanisms for controlling weight.
There is no mechanism in place for enforcing the new law.
a legal mechanism to prevent lobbyists from exerting unfair influence
psychological mechanisms for dealing with a tragic loss
Recent Examples of mechanism from the Web
Without a coupon or other mechanism to bring the price of Narcan down, some consumers may walk away without the life-saving medication.
Part of the money may be used to protect and maximize restoration funds, develop innovative funding mechanisms and ensure that the money dedicated to projects is spent properly, the Walton Family Foundation said in announcing the grant.
But, be forewarned, the rolling, rubbing, clicking, spinning, and flipping mechanism that currently has all the kids entranced can come at a great cost—a dangerous one at at that.
But there’s no tar or other trapping mechanism to do the dirty work.
This explains why violence and threats of violence are not legitimate mechanisms for countering ideas one disagrees with.
But the governor did cut about $120 million from various programs through a mechanism known as a line-item veto — including measures meant to improve the region's air quality and assist the colonias, impoverished areas on the Texas-Mexico border.
If the biological mechanism is common, why are there different diagnostic criteria?
If the Paris agreement were that important, they would’ve had real policies in there with real enforcement mechanisms, but that was politically impossible.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mechanism'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of mechanism
MECHANISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of mechanism for English Language Learners
: a piece of machinery : a mechanical part or group of parts having a particular function
: a process or system that is used to produce a particular result
: a way of acting, thinking, or behaving that helps or protects a person in a specified way
MECHANISM Defined for Kids
Definition of mechanism for Students
1 : a piece of machinery
2 : the parts by which a machine operates the mechanism of a watch
3 : the parts or steps that make up a process or activity the mechanism of government
Medical Definition of mechanism
1: a piece of machinery
2a: a bodily process or function the mechanism of healingb: the combination of mental processes by which a result is obtained psychological mechanisms
3: the fundamental physical or chemical processes involved in or responsible for an action, reaction, or other natural phenomenon
Seen and Heard
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