device

A device is really anything that has a specific use. It might be a tool or object, or a plan that is devised to accomplish something. If it has a purpose, it is a device.

A device is a noun that can be used to describe anything, simple or complex, that is used for a specific purpose. You might have one device for opening bottles, and another for opening cans. You probably even have a device for turning on your TV. While these have specific names (bottle opener, can opener, remote), you can cover each with the generic term device. We can see its root in the Old French word devis, which meant “purpose” or “contrivance.”

Definitions of device
  1. noun
    an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose
    “the device is small enough to wear on your wrist”
    “a device intended to conserve water”
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    acoustic device
    a device for amplifying or transmitting sound
    adapter, adaptor
    device that enables something to be used in a way different from that for which it was intended or makes different pieces of apparatus compatible
    afterburner
    a device injects fuel into a hot exhaust for extra thrust
    agglomerator
    a device that causes material to gather into rounded balls
    aerofoil, airfoil, control surface, surface
    a device that provides reactive force when in motion relative to the surrounding air; can lift or control a plane in flight
    alarm, alarm system, warning device
    a device that signals the occurrence of some undesirable event
    appliance, contraption, contrivance, convenience, gadget, gismo, gizmo, widget
    a device or control that is very useful for a particular job
    applicator, applier
    a device for applying a substance
    aspergill, aspersorium
    a short-handled device with a globe containing a sponge; used for sprinkling holy water
    automatic pilot, autopilot, robot pilot
    a navigational device that automatically keeps ships or planes or spacecraft on a steady course
    bait, decoy, lure
    something used to lure fish or other animals into danger so they can be trapped or killed
    billiard marker
    a device for keeping the score in a game of billiards
    bird feeder, birdfeeder, feeder
    an outdoor device that supplies food for wild birds
    blower
    a device that produces a current of air
    bootjack
    has V-shaped notch for pulling off boots
    breathalyser, breathalyzer
    a device that measures chemicals (especially the alcohol content) in a person's expired breath
    breathing apparatus, breathing device, breathing machine, ventilator
    a device that facilitates breathing in cases of respiratory failure
    bubbler
    any of various devices in which air or some other gas is bubbled through a liquid
    buffer, fender
    a cushion-like device that reduces shock due to an impact
    catapult, launcher
    a device that launches aircraft from a warship
    battery charger, charger
    a device for charging or recharging batteries
    clip-on
    a device (as an earring, sunglasses, microphone etc.) that is attached by clips
    comb
    a flat device with narrow pointed teeth on one edge; disentangles or arranges hair
    baby's dummy, comforter, pacifier, teething ring
    device used for an infant to suck or bite on
    conductor
    a device designed to transmit electricity, heat, etc.
    birth control device, contraceptive, contraceptive device, preventative, preventive, prophylactic device
    an agent or device intended to prevent conception
    converter, convertor
    a device for changing one substance or form or state into another
    corer
    a device for removing the core from apples
    corrective, restorative
    a device for treating injury or disease
    crusher
    a device that crushes something
    cryptograph
    a device for deciphering codes and ciphers
    cutoff
    a device that terminates the flow in a pipe
    dampener, moistener
    a device that dampens or moistens something
    damper, muffler
    a device that decreases the amplitude of electronic, mechanical, acoustical, or aerodynamic oscillations
    deflector
    a device intended to turn aside the flow of something (water or air or smoke etc)
    dental appliance
    a device to repair teeth or replace missing teeth
    depressor
    a device used by physician to press a part down or aside
    detector, sensing element, sensor
    any device that receives a signal or stimulus (as heat or pressure or light or motion etc.) and responds to it in a distinctive manner
    diestock
    a device that holds the dies that cut external threads on metal cylinders
    drive
    (computer science) a device that writes data onto or reads data from a storage medium
    drop forge, drop hammer, drop press
    device for making large forgings
    elastic device
    any flexible device that will return to its original shape when stretched
    electrical device
    a device that produces or is powered by electricity
    electronic device
    a device that accomplishes its purpose electronically
    energiser, energizer
    a device that supplies electrical energy
    exercise device
    a device designed to provide exercise for the user
    explosive device
    device that bursts with sudden violence from internal energy
    fan
    a device for creating a current of air by movement of a surface or surfaces
    filter
    device that removes something from whatever passes through it
    asphyxiator, extinguisher, fire extinguisher
    a manually operated device for extinguishing small fires
    flare
    a device that produces a bright light for warning or illumination or identification
    fumigator
    a device that generates a gas for the purpose of disinfecting or eradicating pests
    gas fixture
    a device to convey illuminating gas from the pipe to the gas burner
    groover
    a device that makes grooves by cutting or punching
    guard, safety, safety device
    a device designed to prevent injury or accidents
    heater, warmer
    device that heats water or supplies warmth to a room
    heat exchanger
    device that transfers heat from one liquid to another without allowing them to mix
    holding device
    a device for holding something
    horn
    a device having the shape of a horn
    foil, hydrofoil
    a device consisting of a flat or curved piece (as a metal plate) so that its surface reacts to the water it is passing through
    imprint
    a device produced by pressure on a surface
    indicator
    a device for showing the operating condition of some system
    instrument
    a device that requires skill for proper use
    ignition interlock, interlock
    a device that prevents an automotive engine from starting
    interrupter
    a device for automatically interrupting an electric current
    jig
    a device that holds a piece of machine work and guides the tools operating on it
    key
    metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated
    keyboard
    device consisting of a set of keys on a piano or organ or typewriter or typesetting machine or computer or the like
    Kinetoscope
    a device invented by Edison that gave an impression of movement as an endless loop of film moved continuously over a light source with a rapid shutter; precursor of the modern motion picture
    doorknocker, knocker, rapper
    a device (usually metal and ornamental) attached by a hinge to a door
    lift
    a device worn in a shoe or boot to make the wearer look taller or to correct a shortened leg
    lifting device
    a device for lifting heavy loads
    igniter, ignitor, light, lighter
    a device for lighting or igniting fuel or charges or fires
    machine
    any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks
    magnet
    (physics) a device that attracts iron and produces a magnetic field
    mechanism
    device consisting of a piece of machinery; has moving parts that perform some function
    memory device, storage device
    a device that preserves information for retrieval
    instrument, musical instrument
    any of various devices or contrivances that can be used to produce musical tones or sounds
    nest egg
    device consisting of an artificial egg left in a nest to induce hens to lay their eggs in it
    noisemaker
    a device (such as a clapper or bell or horn) used to make a loud noise at a celebration
    optical device
    a device for producing or controlling light
    override
    a manually operated device to correct the operation of an automatic device
    paper feed
    a device for inserting sheets of paper into a printer or typewriter
    peeler
    a device for peeling vegetables or fruits
    pick, plectron, plectrum
    a small thin device (of metal or plastic or ivory) used to pluck a stringed instrument
    PTO, power takeoff
    a device that transfers power from an engine (as in a tractor or other motor vehicle) to another piece of equipment (as to a pump or jackhammer)
    goad, prod
    a pointed instrument that is used to prod into a state of motion
    autocue, prompter
    a device that displays words for people to read
    pull
    a device used for pulling something
    reflector
    device that reflects radiation
    button, release
    a device that when pressed will release part of a mechanism
    remote, remote control
    a device that can be used to control a machine or apparatus from a distance
    reset
    device for resetting instruments or controls
    constraint, restraint
    a device that impede's something's motion
    router
    (computer science) a device that forwards data packets between computer networks
    runner
    device consisting of the parts on which something can slide along
    scratcher
    a device used for scratching
    shoehorn
    a device used for easing the foot into a shoe
    shoetree
    a wooden or metal device that is inserted into a shoe to preserve its shape when it is not being worn
    shooting stick
    device that resembles a spiked walking stick but the top opens into a seat
    shredder
    a device that shreds documents (usually in order to prevent the wrong people from reading them)
    signaling device
    a device used to send signals
    snowshoe
    a device to help you walk on deep snow; a lightweight frame shaped like a racquet is strengthened with cross pieces and contains a network of thongs; one is worn on each foot
    sounder
    a device for making soundings
    source of illumination
    any device serving as a source of visible electromagnetic radiation
    stabiliser, stabilizer
    a device for making something stable
    stemmer
    a device for removing stems from fruit (as from grapes or apples)
    straightener
    a device for straightening
    reinforcement, strengthener
    a device designed to provide additional strength
    stylus
    a sharp pointed device attached to the cartridge of a record player
    suction cup
    a cup-shaped device (made of rubber, glass, or plastic) that produces a partial vacuum; used to adhere or draw something to a surface
    support
    any device that bears the weight of another thing
    sweatbox
    a device that causes tobacco leaves or fruit or hides to sweat
    synchroflash
    a device used in photography to synchronize the peak of a flash with the opening of the camera shutter
    take-up
    any of various devices for reducing slack (as in a sewing machine) or taking up motion (as in a loom)
    teaser
    a device for teasing wool
    dart thrower, spear thrower, throwing board, throwing stick
    a device resembling a sling that is used in various primitive societies to propel a dart or spear
    tilter
    a device for emptying a cask by tilting it without disturbing the dregs
    pair of tongs, tongs
    any of various devices for taking hold of objects; usually have two hinged legs with handles above and pointed hooks below
    toy
    a device regarded as providing amusement
    trap
    a device in which something (usually an animal) can be caught and penned
    trigger
    a device that activates or releases or causes something to happen
    valve
    device in a brass wind instrument for varying the length of the air column to alter the pitch of a tone
    vaporiser, vaporizer
    a device that puts out a substance in the form of a vapor (especially for medicinal inhalation)
    ventilator
    a device (such as a fan) that introduces fresh air or expels foul air
    washboard
    device consisting of a corrugated surface to scrub clothes on
    water cooler
    a device for cooling and dispensing drinking water
    acoustic storage
    a storage device consisting of acoustic delay lines
    action, action mechanism
    the operating part that transmits power to a mechanism
    actuator
    a mechanism that puts something into automatic action
    aileron
    an airfoil that controls lateral motion
    air bag
    a safety restraint in an automobile; the bag inflates on collision and prevents the driver or passenger from being thrown forward
    airbrake, dive brake
    a small parachute or articulated flap to reduce the speed of an aircraft
    air cleaner, air filter
    a filter that removes dust from the air that passes through it
    analyser, analyzer
    an instrument that performs analyses
    andiron, dog, dog-iron, firedog
    metal supports for logs in a fireplace
    ankus
    an elephant goad with a sharp spike and a hook
    annunciator
    an indicator that announces which electrical circuit has been active (as on a telephone switchboard)
    answering machine
    an electronic device that answers the telephone and records messages
    aerial, antenna, transmitting aerial
    an electrical device that sends or receives radio or television signals
    Aqua-Lung, aqualung, scuba
    a device (trade name Aqua-Lung) that lets divers breathe under water; scuba is an acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
    arch support
    a support for the arch of the foot
    arrester, arrester hook
    a restraint that slows airplanes as they land on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier
    assembly
    a group of machine parts that fit together to form a self-contained unit
    attenuator
    an electrical device for attenuating the strength of an electrical signal
    autofocus
    an optical device for focussing a camera or other instrument automatically
    automaton, golem, robot
    a mechanism that can move automatically
    automobile horn, car horn, hooter, horn, motor horn
    a device on an automobile for making a warning noise
    auxiliary storage, external storage, secondary storage
    a data storage device that is not the main memory of a computer
    axis, axis of rotation
    the center around which something rotates
    back, backrest
    a support that you can lean against while sitting
    backboard
    a board used to support the back of someone or something
    backing, mount
    something forming a back that is added for strengthening
    backscratcher
    a long-handled scratcher for scratching your back
    bacteria bed
    layer of sand or gravel used to expose sewage effluent to air and the action of microorganisms
    bagger
    a machine for putting objects or substances into bags
    ballast, light ballast
    an electrical device for starting and regulating fluorescent and discharge lamps
    baluster
    one of a number of closely spaced supports for a railing
    band
    a restraint put around something to hold it together
    bar
    a horizontal rod that serves as a support for gymnasts as they perform exercises
    bar magnet
    a magnet in the form of a bar with magnetic poles at each end
    barrel organ, grind organ, hand organ, hurdy gurdy, hurdy-gurdy, street organ
    a musical instrument that makes music by rotation of a cylinder studded with pegs
    base, pedestal, stand
    a support or foundation
    bass
    the member with the lowest range of a family of musical instruments
    battery, electric battery
    a device that produces electricity; may have several primary or secondary cells arranged in parallel or series
    bearing
    a rotating support placed between moving parts to allow them to move easily
    bearing wall
    any wall supporting a floor or the roof of a building
    bedpost
    any of 4 vertical supports at the corners of a bedstead
    beeper, pager
    an electronic device that generates a series of beeps when the person carrying it is being paged
    bell
    a hollow device made of metal that makes a ringing sound when struck
    bellows
    a mechanical device that blows a strong current of air; used to make a fire burn more fiercely or to sound a musical instrument
    bellpull
    a handle or cord that is pulled to ring a doorbell or a servant's bell etc.
    Bessemer converter
    a refractory-lined furnace used to convert pig iron into steel by the Bessemer process
    bimetallic strip
    a strip consisting of two metals that bends with a rise in temperature
    biprism
    an optical device for obtaining interference fringes
    birdcall
    a device for imitating a birdcall
    bite plate, biteplate
    a removable dental appliance that is worn in the palate for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes
    blade
    the part of the skate that slides on the ice
    bomb
    an explosive device fused to explode under specific conditions
    bookend
    a support placed at the end of a row of books to keep them upright (on a shelf or table)
    brace, bracing
    a structural member used to stiffen a framework
    brace, braces, orthodontic braces
    an appliance that corrects dental irregularities
    brace
    a support that steadies or strengthens something else
    bracket, wall bracket
    a support projecting from a wall (as to hold a shelf)
    brake
    a restraint used to slow or stop a vehicle
    brake
    anything that slows or hinders a process
    brake pad
    one of the pads that apply friction to both sides of the brake disk
    brake shoe, shoe, skid
    a restraint provided when the brake linings are moved hydraulically against the brake drum to retard the wheel's rotation
    brasier, brazier
    large metal container in which coal or charcoal is burned; warms people who must stay outside for long times
    bridge
    a wooden support that holds the strings up
    brush
    conducts current between rotating and stationary parts of a generator or motor
    buffer, buffer storage, buffer store
    (computer science) a part of RAM used for temporary storage of data that is waiting to be sent to a device; used to compensate for differences in the rate of flow of data between components of a computer system
    burglar alarm
    a warning device that is tripped off by the occurrence of a burglary
    bus, busbar
    an electrical conductor that makes a common connection between several circuits
    buzzer
    a signaling device that makes a buzzing sound
    cable, line, transmission line
    a conductor for transmitting electrical or optical signals or electric power
    calculating machine, calculator
    a small machine that is used for mathematical calculations
    calender
    a machine that smooths or glazes paper or cloth by pressing it between plates or passing it through rollers
    calliope, steam organ
    a musical instrument consisting of a series of steam whistles played from a keyboard
    camera lucida
    an optical device consisting of an attachment that enables an observer to view simultaneously the image and a drawing surface for sketching it
    capacitance, capacitor, condenser, electrical condenser
    an electrical device characterized by its capacity to store an electric charge
    carriage
    a machine part that carries something else
    cartridge ejector, ejector
    a mechanism in a firearm that ejects the empty shell case after firing
    cartridge extractor, cartridge remover, extractor
    a mechanism in a firearm that pulls an empty shell case out of the chamber and passes it to the ejector
    ATM, automated teller, automated teller machine, automatic teller, automatic teller machine, cash dispenser, cash machine
    an unattended machine (outside some banks) that dispenses money when a personal coded card is used
    catalytic converter
    a converter that uses a platinum-iridium catalyst to oxidize pollutants and carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and water; an antipollution device on an automotive exhaust system
    catch, stop
    a restraint that checks the motion of something
    cauterant, cautery
    an instrument or substance used to destroy tissue for medical reasons (eg removal of a wart) by burning it with a hot iron or an electric current or a caustic or by freezing it
    CD drive
    a drive that reads a compact disc and that is connected to an audio system
    CD-ROM drive
    a drive that is connected to a computer and on which a CD-ROM can be `played'
    cell, electric cell
    a device that delivers an electric current as the result of a chemical reaction
    cervical cap
    a contraceptive device consisting of a small thimble-shaped cup that is placed over the uterine cervix to prevent the entrance of spermatozoa
    chain
    anything that acts as a restraint
    chuck
    a holding device consisting of adjustable jaws that center a workpiece in a lathe or center a tool in a drill
    chum
    bait consisting of chopped fish and fish oils that are dumped overboard to attract fish
    cigar lighter, cigarette lighter, pocket lighter
    a lighter for cigars or cigarettes
    circuit, electric circuit, electrical circuit
    an electrical device that provides a path for electrical current to flow
    clamp, clinch
    a device (generally used by carpenters) that holds things firmly together
    clockwork
    any mechanism of geared wheels that is driven by a coiled spring; resembles the works of a mechanical clock
    coelostat
    optical device used to follow the path of a celestial body and reflect its light into a telescope; has a movable and a fixed mirror
    coffee filter
    filter (usually of paper) that passes the coffee and retains the coffee grounds
    coil
    a contraceptive device placed inside a woman's womb
    collimator
    optical device consisting of a tube containing a convex achromatic lens at one end and a slit at the other with the slit at the focus of the lens; light rays leave the slit as a parallel beam
    comber
    a machine that separates and straightens the fibers of cotton or wool
    computer, computing device, computing machine, data processor, electronic computer, information processing system
    a machine for performing calculations automatically
    computer keyboard, keypad
    a keyboard that is a data input device for computers; arrangement of keys is modelled after the typewriter keyboard
    cement mixer, concrete mixer
    a machine with a large revolving drum in which cement is mixed with other materials to make concrete
    control, controller
    a mechanism that controls the operation of a machine
    board, control board, control panel, instrument panel, panel
    electrical device consisting of a flat insulated surface that contains switches and dials and meters for controlling other electrical devices
    convector
    a space heater that transfers heat to the surrounding air by convection
    cooling, cooling system
    a mechanism for keeping something cool
    cord, electric cord
    a light insulated conductor for household use
    corker
    a machine that is used to put corks in bottles
    cotton gin, gin
    a machine that separates the seeds from raw cotton fibers
    crane
    lifts and moves heavy objects; lifting tackle is suspended from a pivoted boom that rotates around a vertical axis
    cap, crown, crownwork, jacket, jacket crown
    (dentistry) dental appliance consisting of an artificial crown for a broken or decayed tooth
    currycomb
    a square comb with rows of small teeth; used to curry horses
    cursor, pointer
    (computer science) indicator consisting of a movable spot of light (an icon) on a visual display; moving it allows the user to point to commands or screen positions
    damper block, piano damper
    damper consisting of a small felted block that drops onto a piano string to stop its vibration
    dash-pot
    a mechanical damper; the vibrating part is attached to a piston that moves in a chamber filled with liquid
    data converter
    converter for changing information from one code to another
    decoder
    a machine that converts a coded text into ordinary language
    defibrillator
    an electronic device that administers an electric shock of preset voltage to the heart through the chest wall in an attempt to restore the normal rhythm of the heart during ventricular fibrillation
    defroster, deicer
    heater that removes ice or frost (as from a windshield or a refrigerator or the wings of an airplane)
    delayed action
    a mechanism that automatically delays the release of a camera shutter for a fixed period of time so that the photographer can appear in the picture
    demister
    heater that removes mist from the windshield of a car
    dental plate, denture, plate
    a dental appliance that artificially replaces missing teeth
    cap, detonating device, detonator
    a mechanical or electrical explosive device or a small amount of explosive; can be used to initiate the reaction of a disrupting explosive
    dial
    the circular graduated indicator on various measuring instruments
    contraceptive diaphragm, diaphragm, pessary
    a contraceptive device consisting of a flexible dome-shaped cup made of rubber or plastic; it is filled with spermicide and fitted over the uterine cervix
    diffraction grating, grating
    optical device consisting of a surface with many parallel grooves in it; disperses a beam of light (or other electromagnetic radiation) into its wavelengths to produce its spectrum
    diffuser, diffusor
    optical device that distributes the light of a lamp evenly
    Winchester drive, disc drive, disk drive, hard drive
    computer hardware that holds and spins a magnetic or optical disk and reads and writes information on it
    display, video display
    an electronic device that represents information in visual form
    display adapter, display adaptor
    (computer science) an electronic device that converts information in memory to video output to a display
    distributer, distributor, electrical distributor
    electrical device that distributes voltage to the spark plugs of a gasoline engine in the order of the firing sequence
    dongle
    (computer science) an electronic device that must be attached to a computer in order for it to use protected software
    doubler
    an electronic device that doubles the voltage or the frequency of an input signal
    drafting instrument
    an instrument used by a draftsman in making drawings
    drain basket
    a filter in a sink drain; traps debris but passes water
    drive
    a mechanism by which force or power is transmitted in a machine
    drive line, drive line system
    mechanism that transmits power from the engine to the driving wheels of a motor vehicle
    electrical converter
    converter that converts alternating current into direct current or vice versa
    blower, electric fan
    a fan run by an electric motor
    electrode
    a conductor used to make electrical contact with some part of a circuit
    electrograph
    electrical device used for etching by electrolytic means
    electromagnet
    a temporary magnet made by coiling wire around an iron core; when current flows in the coil the iron becomes a magnet
    electronic converter
    (telecommunication) converter for converting a signal from one frequency to another
    electronic instrument, electronic musical instrument
    a musical instrument that generates sounds electronically
    Van de Graaff generator, Wimshurst machine, electrostatic generator, electrostatic machine
    electrical device that produces a high voltage by building up a charge of static electricity
    elevator, lift
    lifting device consisting of a platform or cage that is raised and lowered mechanically in a vertical shaft in order to move people from one floor to another in a building
    elevator
    the airfoil on the tailplane of an aircraft that makes it ascend or descend
    engine
    an instrument or machine that is used in warfare, such as a battering ram, catapult, artillery piece, etc.
    exercise bike, exercycle
    an exercise device resembling a stationary bike
    exhaust fan
    a fan that moves air out of an enclosure
    external drive
    a drive with its own power supply and fan mounted outside the computer system enclosure and connected to the computer by a cable
    extractor
    an instrument for extracting tight-fitting components
    fail-safe
    a mechanism capable of returning to a safe state in case there is a failure or malfunction
    farm machine
    a machine used in farming
    fastener, fastening, fixing, holdfast
    restraint that attaches to something or holds something in place
    fender
    a low metal guard to confine falling coals to a hearth
    field magnet
    a magnet that provides a magnetic field in a dynamo or electric motor
    filling
    (dentistry) a dental appliance consisting of any of various substances (as metal or plastic) inserted into a prepared cavity in a tooth
    film advance
    a mechanism for advancing film in a camera or projector
    filter
    an electrical device that alters the frequency spectrum of signals passing through it
    filter bed
    filter consisting of a layer of sand or gravel for filtering water
    fin
    a stabilizer on a ship that resembles the fin of a fish
    finder, view finder, viewfinder
    optical device that helps a user to find the target of interest
    fine-tooth comb, fine-toothed comb
    a comb with teeth set close together
    fire alarm, smoke alarm
    an alarm that is tripped off by fire or smoke
    coal tongs, fire tongs
    tongs for taking hold of burning coals
    fish lure, fisherman's lure
    (angling) any bright artificial bait consisting of plastic or metal mounted with hooks and trimmed with feathers
    flap, flaps
    a movable airfoil that is part of an aircraft wing; used to increase lift or drag
    flasher
    an electrical device that automatically turns a lamp on and off (as for an advertising display)
    flux applicator
    an applicator for applying flux (as in soldering)
    flytrap
    a trap for catching flies
    foghorn
    a warning device consisting of a horn that generates a loud low tone
    foot
    a support resembling a pedal extremity
    foothold, footing
    a place providing support for the foot in standing or climbing
    franking machine
    a machine that automatically stamps letters or packages passing through it and computes the total charge
    FAE, fuel-air explosive
    a device consisting of a container of fuel and two explosive charges; the first charge bursts open the fuel container at a predetermined height and spreads the fuel in a cloud that mixes with atmospheric oxygen; the second charge detonates the cloud which creates an enormous blast wave and incinerates whatever is below
    fuel filter
    a filter in the fuel line that screens out dirt and rust particles from the fuel
    fuel gauge, fuel indicator
    an indicator of the amount of fuel remaining in a vehicle
    fuse, fusee, fuze, fuzee, primer, priming
    any igniter that is used to initiate the burning of a propellant
    electrical fuse, fuse, safety fuse
    an electrical device that can interrupt the flow of electrical current when it is overloaded
    fusee, fuzee
    a colored flare used as a warning signal by trucks and trains
    gadgetry
    appliances collectively
    gag, muzzle
    restraint put into a person's mouth to prevent speaking or shouting
    gas heater
    a heater that burns gas for heat
    gear, gear mechanism
    a mechanism for transmitting motion for some specific purpose (as the steering gear of a vehicle)
    generator
    an electronic device for producing a signal voltage
    gimbal
    an appliance that allows an object (such as a ship's compass) to remain horizontal even as its support tips
    gnomon
    indicator provided by the stationary arm whose shadow indicates the time on the sundial
    ground bait
    bait scattered on the water to attract fish
    guitar pick
    a plectrum used to pluck a guitar
    gyrostabiliser, gyrostabilizer
    a stabilizer consisting of a heavy gyroscope that spins on a vertical axis; reduces side-to-side rolling of a ship or plane
    blow drier, blow dryer, hair drier, hair dryer, hand blower
    a hand-held electric blower that can blow warm air onto the hair; used for styling hair
    handrest
    a support for the hand
    hanger
    anything from which something can be hung
    harness
    a support consisting of an arrangement of straps for holding something to the body (especially one supporting a person suspended from a parachute)
    harp
    a pair of curved vertical supports for a lampshade
    headstock
    the stationary support in a machine or power tool that supports and drives a revolving part (as a chuck or the spindle on a lathe)
    ear trumpet, hearing aid
    a conical acoustic device formerly used to direct sound to the ear of a hearing-impaired person
    deaf-aid, hearing aid
    an electronic device that amplifies sound and is worn to compensate for poor hearing
    heating pad, hot pad
    heater consisting of electrical heating elements contained in a flexible pad
    heat sink
    a metal conductor specially designed to conduct (and radiate) heat
    hoist
    lifting device for raising heavy or cumbersome objects
    holder
    a holding device
    homing device
    the mechanism in a guided missile that guides it toward its objective
    hop-picker, hopper
    a machine used for picking hops
    horizontal stabiliser, horizontal stabilizer, tailplane
    the horizontal airfoil of an aircraft's tail assembly that is fixed and to which the elevator is hinged
    horn
    an alarm device that makes a loud warning sound
    horn
    a noisemaker (as at parties or games) that makes a loud noise when you blow through it
    hydraulic system
    a mechanism operated by the resistance offered or the pressure transmitted when a liquid is forced through a small opening or tube
    ice tongs
    tongs for lifting blocks of ice
    ignition, ignition system
    the mechanism that ignites the fuel in an internal-combustion engine
    ignition key
    a key that operates the ignition switch of an automotive engine
    impression
    (dentistry) an imprint of the teeth and gums in wax or plaster
    I.E.D., IED, improvised explosive device
    an explosive device that is improvised
    inductance, inductor
    an electrical device (typically a conducting coil) that introduces inductance into a circuit
    injector
    a contrivance for injecting (e.g., water into the boiler of a steam engine or particles into an accelerator etc.)
    instrument of execution
    an instrument designed and used to take the life of a condemned person
    instrument of punishment
    an instrument designed and used to punish a condemned person
    internal drive
    a drive mounted inside of a computer
    IUD, intrauterine device
    contraceptive device consisting of a piece of bent plastic or metal that is inserted through the vagina into the uterus
    jack
    an electrical device consisting of a connector socket designed for the insertion of a plug
    jaw
    holding device consisting of one or both of the opposing parts of a tool that close to hold an object
    jew's harp, jews' harp, mouth bow
    a small lyre-shaped musical instrument that is placed between the teeth and played by twanging a wire tongue while changing the shape of the mouth cavity
    Kerr cell
    optical device consisting of a transparent cell with two electrodes between two polarizing media; passes light only if the two planes of polarization are parallel; used as a high-speed shutter or to modulate a laser beam
    keyboard instrument
    a musical instrument that is played by means of a keyboard
    lamp
    an artificial source of visible illumination
    laser, optical maser
    an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation; an optical device that produces an intense monochromatic beam of coherent light
    cobbler's last, last, shoemaker's last
    holding device shaped like a human foot that is used to fashion or repair shoes
    latchkey
    key for raising or drawing back a latch or opening an outside door
    lead, leash, tether
    restraint consisting of a rope (or light chain) used to restrain an animal
    leg
    one of the supports for a piece of furniture
    lens, lens system, lense
    a transparent optical device used to converge or diverge transmitted light and to form images
    level, spirit level
    indicator that establishes the horizontal when a bubble is centered in a tube of liquid
    light, light source
    any device serving as a source of illumination
    diffusing screen, light filter
    a transparent filter that reduces the light (or some wavelengths of the light) passing through it
    lightning conductor, lightning rod
    a metallic conductor that is attached to a high point and leads to the ground; protects the building from destruction by lightning
    load
    electrical device to which electrical power is delivered
    lobster pot
    trap for catching lobsters
    ignition lock, lock
    a restraint incorporated into the ignition switch to prevent the use of a vehicle by persons who do not have the key
    lock
    a mechanism that detonates the charge of a gun
    logic element
    an electronic device that performs an elementary logic operation
    machinery
    machines or machine systems collectively
    machine tool
    a powered machine for cutting or shaping or finishing metals or other materials
    disc, disk, magnetic disc, magnetic disk
    (computer science) a memory device consisting of a flat disk covered with a magnetic coating on which information is stored
    magnetic needle
    a slender magnet suspended in a magnetic compass on a mounting with little friction; used to indicate the direction of the earth's magnetic pole
    mag tape, magnetic tape, tape
    memory device consisting of a long thin plastic strip coated with iron oxide; used to record audio or video signals or to store computer information
    mantrap
    a trap for catching trespassers
    friction match, lucifer, match
    lighter consisting of a thin piece of wood or cardboard tipped with combustible chemical; ignites with friction
    match
    a burning piece of wood or cardboard
    measuring device, measuring instrument, measuring system
    instrument that shows the extent or amount or quantity or degree of something
    mechanical device
    mechanism consisting of a device that works on mechanical principles
    medical instrument
    instrument used in the practice of medicine
    megaphone
    a cone-shaped acoustic device held to the mouth to intensify and direct the human voice
    computer memory, computer storage, memory, memory board, storage, store
    an electronic memory device
    metal detector
    detector that gives a signal when it detects the presence of metal; used to detect the presence of stray bits of metal in food products or to find buried metal
    milking machine
    machine consisting of a suction apparatus for milking cows mechanically
    mine
    explosive device that explodes on contact; designed to destroy vehicles or ships or to kill or maim personnel
    mine detector
    detector consisting of an electromagnetic device; used to locate explosive mines
    mirror
    polished surface that forms images by reflecting light
    mod con
    modern convenience; the appliances and conveniences characteristic of a modern house
    morning-after pill
    a large dose of estrogen taken orally within 24 to 72 hours after intercourse; prevents implantation of a fertilized ovum and so acts as a contraceptive; commonly used after rape or incest
    motor
    machine that converts other forms of energy into mechanical energy and so imparts motion
    computer mouse, mouse
    a hand-operated electronic device that controls the coordinates of a cursor on your computer screen as you move it around on a pad; on the bottom of the device is a ball that rolls on the surface of the pad
    mousetrap
    a trap for catching mice
    mouthpiece
    an acoustic device; the part of a telephone into which a person speaks
    multiplexer
    a device that can interleave two or more activities
    music box, musical box
    produces music by means of pins on a revolving cylinder that strike the tuned teeth of a comb-like metal plate
    mute
    a device used to soften the tone of a musical instrument
    muzzle
    a leather or wire restraint that fits over an animal's snout (especially a dog's nose and jaws) and prevents it from eating or biting
    navigational instrument
    an instrument used for navigating
    net
    a trap made of netting to catch fish or birds or insects
    Nicol prism
    optical device that produces plane-polarized light
    oil filter
    a filter that removes impurities from the oil used to lubricate an internal-combustion engine
    kerosene heater, kerosine heater, oil heater, oilstove
    heater that burns oil (as kerosine) for heating or cooking
    optical disc, optical disk
    a disk coated with plastic that can store digital data as tiny pits etched in the surface; is read with a laser that scans the surface
    optical instrument
    an instrument designed to aid vision
    outrigger
    a stabilizer for a canoe; spars attach to a shaped log or float parallel to the hull
    oxygen mask
    a breathing device that is placed over the mouth and nose; supplies oxygen from an attached storage tank
    artificial pacemaker, pacemaker
    an implanted electronic device that takes over the function of the natural cardiac pacemaker
    pack
    a sheet or blanket (either dry or wet) to wrap around the body for its therapeutic effect
    face pack, pack
    a cream that cleanses and tones the skin
    paintbrush
    a brush used as an applicator (to apply paint)
    parabolic reflector, paraboloid reflector
    a concave reflector used to produce a parallel beam when the source is placed at its focus or to focus an incoming parallel beam
    paramagnet
    magnet made of a substance whose magnetization is proportional to the strength of the magnetic field applied to it
    master, master key, passe-partout, passkey
    key that secures entrance everywhere
    paving machine, pavior, paviour
    a machine for laying pavement
    perch
    support consisting of a branch or rod that serves as a resting place (especially for a bird)
    percussion instrument, percussive instrument
    a musical instrument in which the sound is produced by one object striking another
    permanent magnet, static magnet
    a magnet that retains its magnetism after being removed from a magnetic field
    perpetual motion machine
    a machine that can continue to do work indefinitely without drawing energy from some external source; impossible under the law of conservation of energy
    PDA, organiser, organizer, personal digital assistant, personal organiser, personal organizer
    a lightweight consumer electronic device that looks like a hand-held computer but instead performs specific tasks; can serve as a diary or a personal database or a telephone or an alarm clock etc.
    petard
    an explosive device used to break down a gate or wall
    needle, phonograph needle
    a stylus that formerly made sound by following a groove in a phonograph record
    electric eye, magic eye, photocell, photoconductive cell, photoelectric cell
    a transducer used to detect and measure light and other radiations
    clavier, fingerboard, piano keyboard
    a bank of keys on a musical instrument
    pick-me-up, pickup
    anything with restorative powers
    pier
    a support for two adjacent bridge spans
    pier
    (architecture) a vertical supporting structure (as a portion of wall between two doors or windows)
    pile driver
    a machine that drives piling into the ground
    anovulant, anovulatory drug, birth control pill, contraceptive pill, oral contraceptive, oral contraceptive pill, pill
    a contraceptive in the form of a pill containing estrogen and progestin to inhibit ovulation and so prevent conception
    pillow block
    a cast-iron or steel block for supporting a journal or bearing
    indicator lamp, pilot lamp, pilot light
    indicator consisting of a light to indicate whether power is on or a motor is in operation
    pit, pitfall
    a trap in the form of a concealed hole
    planetarium
    an optical device for projecting images of celestial bodies and other astronomical phenomena onto the inner surface of a hemispherical dome
    plotter
    an instrument (usually driven by a computer) for drawing graphs or pictures
    male plug, plug
    an electrical device with two or three pins that is inserted in a socket to make an electrical connection
    plutonium pit, plutonium trigger
    a steel or beryllium sphere containing plutonium 239 that triggers nuclear fission when compressed by explosives
    pocket comb, pocketcomb
    a small comb suitable for carrying in a pocket
    pointer
    an indicator as on a dial
    polarimeter, polariscope
    an optical device used to measure the rotation of the plane of vibration of polarized light
    pound net
    trap consisting of an arrangement of nets directing fish into an enclosure
    digger, excavator, power shovel, shovel
    a machine for excavating
    power tool
    a tool driven by a motor
    Cottrell precipitator, electrostatic precipitator, precipitator
    removes dust particles from gases by electrostatic precipitation
    mechanical press, press
    any machine that exerts pressure to form or shape or cut materials or extract liquids or compress solids
    press, printing press
    a machine used for printing
    printer, printing machine
    a machine that prints
    optical prism, prism
    optical device having a triangular shape and made of glass or quartz; used to deviate a beam or invert an image
    projector
    an optical device for projecting a beam of light
    prosthesis, prosthetic device
    corrective consisting of a replacement for a part of the body
    pullback, tieback
    a device (as a decorative loop of cord or fabric) for holding or drawing something back
    pull chain
    a chain (usually with a handle at the end) that is pulled in order to operate some mechanism (e.g. to flush a toilet)
    punkah
    a large fan consisting of a frame covered with canvas that is suspended from the ceiling; used in India for circulating air in a room
    push-down storage, push-down store, stack
    a storage device that handles data so that the next item to be retrieved is the item most recently stored (LIFO)
    rack, stand
    a support for displaying various articles
    radiator
    a mechanism consisting of a metal honeycomb through which hot fluids circulate; heat is transferred from the fluid through the honeycomb to the airstream that is created either by the motion of the vehicle or by a fan
    radiator
    heater consisting of a series of pipes for circulating steam or hot water to heat rooms or buildings
    RAM disk
    (computer science) a virtual drive that is created by setting aside part of the random-access memory to use as if it were a group of sectors
    rattrap
    a trap for catching rats
    reactor
    an electrical device used to introduce reactance into a circuit
    read-out, readout
    an electronic device the displays information is a visual form
    recording
    a storage device on which information (sounds or images) have been recorded
    phonograph, record player
    machine in which rotating records cause a stylus to vibrate and the vibrations are amplified acoustically or electronically
    rectifier
    electrical device that transforms alternating into direct current
    register
    (computer science) memory device that is the part of computer memory that has a specific address and that is used to hold information of a specific kind
    electrical relay, relay
    electrical device such that current flowing through it in one circuit can switch on and off a current in a second circuit
    repeater
    (electronics) electronic device that amplifies a signal before transmitting it again
    resistance, resistor
    an electrical device that resists the flow of electrical current
    inhalator, respirator
    a breathing device for administering long-term artificial respiration
    rest
    a support on which things can be put
    resuscitator
    a breathing apparatus used for resuscitation by forcing oxygen into the lungs of a person who has undergone asphyxia or arrest of respiration
    retainer
    a dental appliance that holds teeth (or a prosthesis) in position after orthodontic treatment
    rib
    support resembling the rib of an animal
    riveter, riveting machine, rivetter
    a machine for driving rivets
    Rochon prism, Wollaston prism
    optical device that produces plane-polarized ultraviolet light
    rocker
    a curved support that permits the supported object to rock to and fro
    rotating mechanism
    a mechanism that rotates
    rotary wing, rotor blade
    the long airfoil that rotates to provide the lift that supports a helicopter in the air
    elastic, elastic band, rubber band
    a narrow band of elastic rubber used to hold things (such as papers) together
    rudder
    a hinged vertical airfoil mounted at the tail of an aircraft and used to make horizontal course changes
    safety arch
    an undecorated arch that is included in order to strengthen or support a construction
    life belt, safety belt, safety harness
    belt attaching you to some object as a restraint in order to prevent you from getting hurt
    safety catch, safety lock
    guard consisting of a locking device that prevents a weapon from being fired
    scale
    an indicator having a graduated sequence of marks
    digital scanner, image scanner, scanner
    an electronic device that generates a digital representation of an image for data input to a computer
    scientific instrument
    an instrument used by scientists
    drogue, sea anchor
    restraint consisting of a canvas covered frame that floats behind a vessel; prevents drifting or maintains the heading into a wind
    seal bomb
    a small explosive device (resembling a firecracker) that is used underwater in order to frighten mammals away from fishing grounds
    seat
    any support where you can sit (especially the part of a chair or bench etc. on which you sit)
    security, security measure, security system
    an electrical device that sets off an alarm when someone tries to break in
    Segway, Segway HT, Segway Human Transporter
    (trademark) a self-balancing personal transportation device with two wheels; can operate in any level pedestrian environment
    feeder, self-feeder
    a machine that automatically provides a supply of some material
    semiconductor, semiconductor device, semiconductor unit
    a conductor made with semiconducting material
    bond, hamper, shackle, trammel
    a restraint that confines or restricts freedom (especially something used to tie down or restrain a prisoner)
    shelf
    a support that consists of a horizontal surface for holding objects
    cushion, shock, shock absorber
    a mechanical damper; absorbs energy of sudden impulses
    shoe bomb
    an explosive device concealed inside the heel and sole of a shoe
    bypass, electrical shunt, shunt
    a conductor having low resistance in parallel with another device to divert a fraction of the current
    muffler, silencer
    a tubular acoustic device inserted in the exhaust system that is designed to reduce noise
    simulator
    a machine that simulates an environment for the purpose of training or research
    siren
    an acoustic device producing a loud often wailing sound as a signal or warning
    ski
    narrow wood or metal or plastic runners used in pairs for gliding over snow
    slapstick
    acoustic device consisting of two paddles hinged together; used by an actor to make a loud noise without inflicting injury when striking someone
    slicer
    a machine for cutting; usually with a revolving blade
    coin machine, slot machine
    a machine that is operated by the insertion of a coin in a slot
    gin, noose, snare
    a trap for birds or small mammals; often has a slip noose
    snorkel
    breathing device consisting of a bent tube fitting into a swimmer's mouth and extending above the surface; allows swimmer to breathe while face down in the water
    snow blower, snow thrower
    a machine that removes snow by scooping it up and throwing it forcefully through a chute
    solar array, solar battery, solar panel
    electrical device consisting of a large array of connected solar cells
    solar collector, solar dish, solar furnace
    a concave mirror that concentrates the rays of the sun; can produce high temperatures
    solar heater
    a heater that makes direct use of solar energy
    solenoid
    a coil of wire around an iron core; becomes a magnet when current passes through the coil
    sonograph
    an instrument that uses the differential transmission and reflection of ultrasonic waves in order to provide an image of a bodily organ
    sorter
    a machine for sorting things (such as punched cards or letters) into classes
    space heater
    heater consisting of a self-contained (usually portable) unit to warm a room
    spark arrester
    electrical device to reduce sparking when electrical contacts are opened or closed
    plug, spark plug, sparking plug
    electrical device that fits into the cylinder head of an internal-combustion engine and ignites the gas by means of an electric spark
    speaking trumpet
    a trumpet-shaped acoustic device to intensify and direct the human voice; formerly held to the ear by a hard-of-hearing person
    spermatocide, spermicide
    a contraceptive agent that kills spermatozoa
    spike, spindle
    any holding device consisting of a rigid, sharp-pointed object
    spoiler
    a hinged airfoil on the upper surface of an aircraft wing that is raised to reduce lift and increase drag
    spoiler
    an airfoil mounted on the rear of a car to reduce lift at high speeds
    radius, spoke, wheel spoke
    support consisting of a radial member of a wheel joining the hub to the rim
    spray gun
    an applicator resembling a gun for applying liquid substances (as paint) in the form of a spray
    spring
    a metal elastic device that returns to its shape or position when pushed or pulled or pressed
    gad, spur
    a sharp prod fixed to a rider's heel and used to urge a horse onward
    stabilizer
    airfoil consisting of a device for stabilizing an aircraft
    anti-sway bar, stabilizer bar
    a rigid metal bar between the front suspensions and between the rear suspensions of cars and trucks; serves to stabilize the chassis
    pestle, stamp
    machine consisting of a heavy bar that moves vertically for pounding or crushing ores
    staple gun, staplegun, tacker
    a hand-held machine for driving staples home
    stapler, stapling machine
    a machine that inserts staples into sheets of paper in order to fasten them together
    steel trap
    a trap made of steel with a strong spring and sharp toothlike projections to hold the prey
    steering linkage
    mechanism consisting of a system of rods and levers connected to the front wheels of a motor vehicle; the steering gear pushes it left or right which swivels the front wheels, causing the vehicle to turn
    steering mechanism, steering system
    a mechanism by which something is steered (especially a motor vehicle)
    stair, step
    support consisting of a place to rest the foot while ascending or descending a stairway
    stereoscope
    an optical device for viewing stereoscopic photographs
    stirrup, stirrup iron
    support consisting of metal loops into which rider's feet go
    gunstock, stock
    the handle of a handgun or the butt end of a rifle or shotgun or part of the support of a machine gun or artillery gun
    stool pigeon
    a dummy pigeon used to decoy others
    stove
    any heating apparatus
    strainer
    a filter to retain larger pieces while smaller pieces and liquids pass through
    stringed instrument
    a musical instrument in which taut strings provide the source of sound
    structural member
    support that is a constituent part of any structure or building
    suppresser, suppressor
    an electrical device for suppressing unwanted currents
    surveying instrument, surveyor's instrument
    an instrument used by surveyors
    system clock
    an electronic device in a computer that issues a steady high-frequency signal that synchronizes all the internal components
    tailstock
    support consisting of the movable part of a lathe that slides along the bed in alignment with the headstock and is locked into position to support the free end of the workpiece
    tape drive, tape transport, transport
    a mechanism that transports magnetic tape across the read/write heads of a tape playback/recorder
    football tee, tee
    support holding a football on end and above the ground preparatory to the kickoff
    Teleprompter
    a prompter for television performers
    test paper
    paper impregnated with an indicator for use in chemical tests
    textile machine
    a machine for making textiles
    thunderer
    a noisemaker that makes a sound like thunder
    tidemark
    indicator consisting of a line at the highwater or low-water limits of the tides
    time machine
    a science fiction machine that is supposed to transport people or objects into the past or the future
    tongue depressor
    a thin depressor used to press the tongue down during an examination of the mouth and throat
    torpedo
    a small explosive device that is placed on a railroad track and fires when a train runs over it; the sound of the explosion warns the engineer of danger ahead
    torpedo
    an explosive device that is set off in an oil well (or a gas well) to start or to increase the flow of oil (or gas)
    torque converter
    converter for transmitting and amplifying torque (especially by hydraulic means)
    trace detector
    a screening device for traces of explosives; used at airline terminals
    tracer
    an instrument used to make tracings
    trackball
    an electronic device consisting of a rotatable ball in a housing; used to position the cursor and move images on a computer screen
    trammel
    a restraint that is used to teach a horse to amble
    transducer
    an electrical device that converts one form of energy into another
    transformer
    an electrical device by which alternating current of one voltage is changed to another voltage
    transponder
    electrical device designed to receive a specific signal and automatically transmit a specific reply
    treadmill
    an exercise device consisting of an endless belt on which a person can walk or jog without changing place
    trimmer
    a machine that trims timber
    electron tube, thermionic tube, thermionic vacuum tube, thermionic valve, tube, vacuum tube
    electronic device consisting of a system of electrodes arranged in an evacuated glass or metal envelope
    typewriter keyboard
    a keyboard for manually entering characters to be printed
    ultraviolet lamp, ultraviolet source
    any source of illumination that emits ultraviolet radiation
    undercarriage
    framework that serves as a support for the body of a vehicle
    vertical tail
    the vertical airfoil in the tail assembly of an aircraft
    viewer
    an optical device for viewing photographic transparencies
    bench vise, vise
    a holding device attached to a workbench; has two jaws to hold workpiece firmly in place
    water filter
    a filter to remove impurities from the water supply
    hot-water heater, hot-water tank, water heater
    a heater and storage tank to supply heated water
    wave guide, waveguide
    a hollow metal conductor that provides a path to guide microwaves; used in radar
    arm, weapon, weapon system
    any instrument or instrumentality used in fighting or hunting
    entanglement, web
    an intricate trap that entangles or ensnares its victim
    whip
    an instrument with a handle and a flexible lash that is used for whipping
    whirler
    a revolving mechanism
    whistle
    acoustic device that forces air or steam against an edge or into a cavity and so produces a loud shrill sound
    winch, windlass
    lifting device consisting of a horizontal cylinder turned by a crank on which a cable or rope winds
    wind, wind instrument
    a musical instrument in which the sound is produced by an enclosed column of air that is moved by the breath
    wing
    one of the horizontal airfoils on either side of the fuselage of an airplane
    conducting wire, wire
    a metal conductor that carries electricity over a distance
    workhorse
    machine that performs dependably under heavy use
    innards, workings, works
    the internal mechanism of a device
    yoke
    support consisting of a wooden frame across the shoulders that enables a person to carry buckets hanging from each end
    Zamboni
    the trademark for a machine that smooths the ice in an ice-skating rink
    zapper
    an electrical device that can injure or kill by means of electric currents
    glass wool
    glass fibers spun and massed into bundles resembling wool
    diatomaceous earth, diatomite, kieselguhr
    a light soil consisting of siliceous diatom remains and often used as a filtering material
    barre
    a horizontal rod that ballet dancers use as a support as they perform certain exercises
    percussion
    the group of instruments that are played by striking with a hand or object
    type of:
    instrumentality, instrumentation
    an artifact (or system of artifacts) that is instrumental in accomplishing some end
  2. noun
    something in an artistic work designed to achieve a particular effect
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 39 types...
    hide 39 types...
    conceit
    an artistic device or effect
    rhetorical device
    a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance)
    imagery
    the use of vivid, descriptive language in literature, especially language that appeals to the senses
    anacoluthia, anacoluthon
    an abrupt change within a sentence from one syntactic structure to another
    asyndeton
    the omission of conjunctions where they would normally be used
    repetition
    the repeated use of the same word or word pattern as a rhetorical device
    anastrophe, inversion
    the reversal of the normal order of words
    antiphrasis
    the use of a word in a sense opposite to its normal sense (especially in irony)
    antithesis
    the juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas to give a feeling of balance
    antinomasia
    substitution of a title for a name
    apophasis
    mentioning something by saying it will not be mentioned
    aposiopesis
    breaking off in the middle of a sentence (as by writers of realistic conversations)
    apostrophe
    address to an absent or imaginary person
    catachresis
    strained or paradoxical use of words either in error (as `blatant' to mean `flagrant') or deliberately (as in a mixed metaphor: `blind mouths')
    chiasmus
    inversion in the second of two parallel phrases
    climax
    arrangement of clauses in ascending order of forcefulness
    conversion
    interchange of subject and predicate of a proposition
    ecphonesis, exclamation
    an exclamatory rhetorical device
    emphasis
    special and significant stress by means of position or repetition
    enallage
    a substitution of part of speech or gender or number or tense etc. (e.g., editorial `we' for `I')
    epanorthosis
    immediate rephrasing for intensification or justification
    epiplexis
    a rhetorical device in which the speaker reproaches the audience in order to incite or convince them
    hendiadys
    use of two conjoined nouns instead of a noun and modifier
    hypallage
    reversal of the syntactic relation of two words (as in `her beauty's face')
    hyperbaton
    reversal of normal word order (as in `cheese I love')
    hypozeugma
    use of a series of subjects with a single predicate
    hypozeuxis
    use of a series of parallel clauses (as in `I came, I saw, I conquered')
    hysteron proteron
    reversal of normal order of two words or sentences etc. (as in `bred and born')
    litotes, meiosis
    understatement for rhetorical effect (especially when expressing an affirmative by negating its contrary)
    onomatopoeia
    using words that imitate the sound they denote
    paraleipsis, paralepsis, paralipsis, preterition
    suggesting by deliberately concise treatment that much of significance is omitted
    paregmenon
    juxtaposing words having a common derivation (as in `sense and sensibility')
    polysyndeton
    using several conjunctions in close succession, especially where some might be omitted (as in `he ran and jumped and laughed for joy')
    prolepsis
    anticipating and answering objections in advance
    wellerism
    a comparison comprising a well-known quotation followed by a facetious sequel
    figure, figure of speech, image, trope
    language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense
    ecphrasis, ekphrasis
    a literary description of a work of visual art
    parallelism
    the repetition of similar or equivalent syntactical constructions, often for rhetorical effect
    antimetabole
    (rhetoric) the repetition of the same words in reverse order
    type of:
    expressive style, style
    a way of expressing something (in language or art or music etc.) that is characteristic of a particular person or group of people or period
  3. noun
    any clever maneuver
    “he would stoop to any device to win a point”
    synonyms: gimmick, twist
    see moresee less
    types:
    mnemonic
    a device (such as a rhyme or acronym) used to aid recall
    fast one, trick
    a cunning or deceitful action or device
    schtick, schtik, shtick, shtik
    (Yiddish) a devious trick; a bit of cheating
    type of:
    maneuver, manoeuvre, tactical maneuver, tactical manoeuvre
    a move made to gain a tactical end
  4. noun
    any ornamental pattern or design (as in embroidery)
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    types:
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    seal, stamp
    a device incised to make an impression; used to secure a closing or to authenticate documents
    bulla
    the round leaden seal affixed to a papal bull
    cachet
    a seal on a letter
    great seal
    the principal seal of a government, symbolizing authority or sovereignty
    handstamp, rubber stamp
    a stamp (usually made of rubber) for imprinting a mark or design by hand
    signet
    a seal (especially one used to mark documents officially)
    type of:
    design, figure, pattern
    a decorative or artistic work
  5. noun
    an emblematic design (especially in heraldry)
    “he was recognized by the device on his shield”
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    types:
    union
    a device on a national flag emblematic of the union of two or more sovereignties (typically in the upper inner corner)
    type of:
    emblem, icon
    special design or visual object representing a quality, type, group, etc.
Word Family