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Syllabification: ma·chine
Pronunciation: /məˈSHēn

Definition of machine in English:


1An apparatus using or applying mechanical power and having several parts, each with a definite function and together performing a particular task: a fax machine a shredding machine
More example sentences
  • Waves over 25 ft high destroyed homes along the Florida coast and a nursing home lost all power meaning desperately-needed oxygen machines could not function.
  • I find that he cannot now perform the machine programming functions which mainly occupied him during his twenty-two years with his former employer.
  • If you hear the hard disk working furiously and the green light on the front of the computer is very busy, then the machine is performing a task.
1.1 [usually with modifier] A coin-operated dispenser: a candy machine
More example sentences
  • If candy machine builders get too gloomy, they may stop building machines.
  • So how do we apply for a grant to get a nicotine patch dispenser machine fitted in the bus shelter?
  • To use the electric shock machine cost one penny, but friends would join hands so that a number of people could all experience the shock for the same penny.
1.2 technical Any device that transmits a force or directs its application.
Example sentences
  • The application of useful machines and tools was thus equated with not just material progress but cultural development.
  • It seems these little solar powered machines have applications that reach far beyond the motor car.
  • The Enigma machine is an electro-mechanical device for scrambling plain text invented by the Germans in 1918.
1.3An efficient and well-organized group of powerful people: his campaign illustrated the continuing strength of a powerful political machine
More example sentences
  • An alliance of the most powerful and violent military machines in the world will never bring peace.
  • Local government was controlled by one of the most powerful political machines in the nation, and that machine was largely the province of one man.
  • For all the claims of ‘control freakery’, the evidence seems to reveal a government machine influenced by a powerful sense of things being out of control.
organization, system, structure, arrangement, machinery
informal setup
1.4A person who acts with the mechanical efficiency of a machine: comedians are more than just laugh machines
More example sentences
  • There was no stopping the laughing machine and people laughed till their eyes watered and jaws literally ached.
  • You have in your command four of the most powerful fighting machines ever created, the Genohunter warrior.
powerhouse, human dynamo;
wonder, phenomenon, sensation;


[with object] Back to top  
(Especially in manufacturing) make or operate on with a machine: (as adjective machined) a decoratively machined brass rod
More example sentences
  • The bottom-water sampler was a slender, reinforced rod with finely machined discs of brass at either end.
  • Made of brass, it was machined specifically to each caliber chambered in the 99 so that feeding cartridges was smooth, flawless and in a straight line.
  • Kalyani's Bharat Forge - which supplies high value added products like machined crankshafts and connecting rods - already has a niche in the Chinese market.


mid 16th century (originally denoting a structure of any kind): from French, via Latin from Doric Greek makhana (Attic Greek mēkhanē, from mēkhos 'contrivance').

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