Definition of mechanical in English:

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Pronunciation: /mɪˈkanɪk(ə)l/


1Operated by a machine or machinery: a mechanical device
More example sentences
  • His machines included mechanical devices for dredging, a mill to pump water and a device to pull ships over obstacles.
  • A variety of purely mechanical devices were used from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries to increase the size and capacity of the ear to conduct sound.
  • The pneumatic pump operated the mechanical heart and sustained Clark for 112 days.
1.1Relating to machines or machinery: the helicopters are prone to mechanical failure
More example sentences
  • To avoid any mechanical failure in so complex a piece of machinery as well as avoid all potential accidents is remarkable.
  • Any sabotage or mechanical failures would cause power cuts in Britain within days.
  • The wreckage is also likely to be examined to see if there was any mechanical failure with a particular focus on brakes and wheels.
2(Of an action) done without thought or spontaneity; automatic: she stopped the mechanical brushing of her hair
More example sentences
  • Albert, Jr., I think, is a little too mechanical, not as spontaneous as he ought to be.
  • But are birds unfeeling, mechanical songsters, driven to sing but never understanding what it is they do?
  • Pearls of wisdom leave our mouths every day in an unthinking and mechanical manner.
automatic, machine-like, unthinking, unemotional, unconscious, involuntary, instinctive, routine, matter-of-fact, habitual, inattentive;
unfeeling, impersonal, inhuman, lifeless, soulless, uninspired, unanimated, casual;
perfunctory, cursory, careless, unimaginative, negligent
3Relating to physical forces or motion; physical: the smoothness was the result of mechanical abrasion
More example sentences
  • When the opening fork encounters such a protein during mechanical unzipping, force increases until the protein is ejected.
  • Those experiments were conducted in the absence of the mechanical forces that may act on molecules during function in vivo.
  • Most lesions can be managed conservatively by the use of properly fitting shoes and padding to redistribute mechanical forces.
3.1 archaic (Of a theory) explaining phenomena in terms only of physical processes.
Example sentences
  • So the stark ontology of the mechanical philosopher is established a priori by appealing to a notion of intelligibility.
  • He explained the mechanical principle of the screw as a form of wedge, and he set out the mathematical characteristics of the helix.
  • As a philosopher he was inspired by Descartes, Spinoza, and Hobbes, but broke away from Descartes's mechanical conception of the universe.
3.2 archaic Relating to mechanics as a science.
Example sentences
  • He received a doctorate in aerospace and mechanical sciences from Princeton University in 1967.
  • As both the reflection of mechanical science and a divine creation, nature was an analogue for knowledge.
  • This is because he would have been kept alive by mechanical science rather than nature.
mechanized, machine-driven, automated, automatic, motor-driven, power-driven, self-propelled
4Relating to the exclusive legal right to reproduce a particular recorded version of a song or piece of music: mechanical copyright mechanical royalties
More example sentences
  • The argument about whether the mechanical copyright (the copyright covering the actual sound recording) should be extended in the UK was always going to be resolved from a European Perspective, and the EU has now taken the lead and voted on the way forward.
  • These stamps were issued to show the pre-payment of mechanical copyright royalties due under various Copyright Acts and General Regulations.


1 (mechanicals) The working parts of a vehicle: a major overhaul of the mechanicals
More example sentences
  • The key ingredient of the VW-Bentley and the Ford-Jaguar remains the platform, the expensive below-the-waist mechanicals, so the more of them you make, the cheaper they are.
  • Although the central nose section does look like the thin nose of modern F1 cars, it is the mechanicals under the rear engine cover and the drivetrain which are the most interesting.
  • Out on the roads they'll be impressed too by the revised, reworked and rebuilt mechanicals.
2 (usually mechanicals) archaic A manual worker: rude mechanicals
With allusion to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream
More example sentences
  • I would be doing another role as well: Tom Snout, one of the rude mechanicals in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  • The presence of the rude mechanicals who put on a play for their duke gives the audience a comical but telling image of theatre as a vital form of social exchange.
  • The mechanicals in Midsummer were slow and dull, indulging in endless, random byplay rather than the specific actions called for in the text.



Pronunciation: /mɪˈkanɪk(ə)lnəs/
Example sentences
  • One of the most important areas of mechanicalness to observe in yourself is your sexual activity.
  • The mechanicalness in our behavior that has been established almost from the time we were born, has to be changed.
  • The mechanicalness of it doesn't really leave room for you to consider the other person, even though that's all it feels as if you're doing.


Late Middle English (describing an art or occupation concerned with the construction of machines): via Latin from Greek mēkhanikos (see mechanic) + -al.

  • Both mechanical and machine (mid 16th century) go back to Greek mēkhanikē ‘machine’. Originally mechanical and mechanic (Late Middle English) were more or less interchangeable, but nowadays the first primarily means ‘operated by or relating to a machine’ or ‘done without thought, automatic’, and the second refers to a skilled worker. An old meaning of both is ‘a manual labourer or artisan’, as in ‘A crew of patches, rude mechanicals, / That work for bread, upon Athenian stalls’ from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (rude here meaning ‘unsophisticated’).

Words that rhyme with mechanical

botanical, Brahmanical, puritanical, sanicle, tyrannical

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mech¦an|ic¦al

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