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

n 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
a device injects fuel into a hot exhaust for extra thrust
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
a device that produces a current of air
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
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
a device (as an earring, sunglasses, microphone etc.) that is attached by clips
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
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
a device for removing the core from apples
corrective, restorative
a device for treating injury or disease
a device that crushes something
a device for deciphering codes and ciphers
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
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
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
a device that holds the dies that cut external threads on metal cylinders
(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
a device for creating a current of air by movement of a surface or surfaces
device that removes something from whatever passes through it
asphyxiator, extinguisher, fire extinguisher
a manually operated device for extinguishing small fires
a device that produces a bright light for warning or illumination or identification
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
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
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
a device produced by pressure on a surface
a device for showing the operating condition of some system
a device that requires skill for proper use
ignition interlock, interlock
a device that prevents an automotive engine from starting
a device for automatically interrupting an electric current
a device that holds a piece of machine work and guides the tools operating on it
metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated
device consisting of a set of keys on a piano or organ or typewriter or typesetting machine or computer or the like
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
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
any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks
(physics) a device that attracts iron and produces a magnetic field
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
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
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
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
a device used for pulling something
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
device for resetting instruments or controls
constraint, restraint
a device that impede's something's motion
(computer science) a device that forwards data packets between computer networks
device consisting of the parts on which something can slide along
a device used for scratching
a device used for easing the foot into a shoe
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
a device that shreds documents (usually in order to prevent the wrong people from reading them)
signaling device
a device used to send signals
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
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
a device for removing stems from fruit (as from grapes or apples)
a device for straightening
reinforcement, strengthener
a device designed to provide additional strength
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
any device that bears the weight of another thing
a device that causes tobacco leaves or fruit or hides to sweat
a device used in photography to synchronize the peak of a flash with the opening of the camera shutter
any of various devices for reducing slack (as in a sewing machine) or taking up motion (as in a loom)
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
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
a device regarded as providing amusement
a device in which something (usually an animal) can be caught and penned
a device that activates or releases or causes something to happen
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)
a device (such as a fan) that introduces fresh air or expels foul air
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
a mechanism that puts something into automatic action
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
an elephant goad with a sharp spike and a hook
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
a group of machine parts that fit together to form a self-contained unit
an electrical device for attenuating the strength of an electrical signal
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
a board used to support the back of someone or something
backing, mount
something forming a back that is added for strengthening
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
a machine for putting objects or substances into bags
ballast, light ballast
an electrical device for starting and regulating fluorescent and discharge lamps
one of a number of closely spaced supports for a railing
a restraint put around something to hold it together
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
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
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
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
a hollow device made of metal that makes a ringing sound when struck
a mechanical device that blows a strong current of air; used to make a fire burn more fiercely or to sound a musical instrument
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
an optical device for obtaining interference fringes
a device for imitating a birdcall
bite plate, biteplate
a removable dental appliance that is worn in the palate for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes
the part of the skate that slides on the ice
an explosive device fused to explode under specific conditions
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
a support that steadies or strengthens something else
bracket, wall bracket
a support projecting from a wall (as to hold a shelf)
a restraint used to slow or stop a vehicle
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
a wooden support that holds the strings up
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
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
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
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
anything that acts as a restraint
a holding device consisting of adjustable jaws that center a workpiece in a lathe or center a tool in a drill
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
any mechanism of geared wheels that is driven by a coiled spring; resembles the works of a mechanical clock
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
a contraceptive device placed inside a woman's womb
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
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
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
a machine that is used to put corks in bottles
cotton gin, gin
a machine that separates the seeds from raw cotton fibers
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
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
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
a machine that converts a coded text into ordinary language
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
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
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
(computer science) an electronic device that must be attached to a computer in order for it to use protected software
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
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
a conductor used to make electrical contact with some part of a circuit
electrical device used for etching by electrolytic means
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
the airfoil on the tailplane of an aircraft that makes it ascend or descend
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
an instrument for extracting tight-fitting components
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
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
(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
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
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
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)
a trap for catching flies
a warning device consisting of a horn that generates a loud low tone
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
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)
an electronic device for producing a signal voltage
an appliance that allows an object (such as a ship's compass) to remain horizontal even as its support tips
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
a support for the hand
anything from which something can be hung
a support consisting of an arrangement of straps for holding something to the body (especially one supporting a person suspended from a parachute)
a pair of curved vertical supports for a lampshade
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
lifting device for raising heavy or cumbersome objects
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
an alarm device that makes a loud warning sound
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
(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
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
an electrical device consisting of a connector socket designed for the insertion of a plug
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
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
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
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
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
a mechanism that detonates the charge of a gun
logic element
an electronic device that performs an elementary logic operation
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
a trap for catching mice
an acoustic device; the part of a telephone into which a person speaks
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
a device used to soften the tone of a musical instrument
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
a support for two adjacent bridge spans
(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
an optical device for projecting images of celestial bodies and other astronomical phenomena onto the inner surface of a hemispherical dome
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
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
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)
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
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
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
a trap for catching rats
an electrical device used to introduce reactance into a circuit
read-out, readout
an electronic device the displays information is a visual form
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
electrical device that transforms alternating into direct current
(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
(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
a support on which things can be put
a breathing apparatus used for resuscitation by forcing oxygen into the lungs of a person who has undergone asphyxia or arrest of respiration
a dental appliance that holds teeth (or a prosthesis) in position after orthodontic treatment
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
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
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
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
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)
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
a machine that simulates an environment for the purpose of training or research
an acoustic device producing a loud often wailing sound as a signal or warning
narrow wood or metal or plastic runners used in pairs for gliding over snow
acoustic device consisting of two paddles hinged together; used by an actor to make a loud noise without inflicting injury when striking someone
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
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
a coil of wire around an iron core; becomes a magnet when current passes through the coil
an instrument that uses the differential transmission and reflection of ultrasonic waves in order to provide an image of a bodily organ
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
a hinged airfoil on the upper surface of an aircraft wing that is raised to reduce lift and increase drag
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
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
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
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
any heating apparatus
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
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
a prompter for television performers
test paper
paper impregnated with an indicator for use in chemical tests
textile machine
a machine for making textiles
a noisemaker that makes a sound like thunder
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
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
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
an instrument used to make tracings
an electronic device consisting of a rotatable ball in a housing; used to position the cursor and move images on a computer screen
a restraint that is used to teach a horse to amble
an electrical device that converts one form of energy into another
an electrical device by which alternating current of one voltage is changed to another voltage
electrical device designed to receive a specific signal and automatically transmit a specific reply
an exercise device consisting of an endless belt on which a person can walk or jog without changing place
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
framework that serves as a support for the body of a vehicle
vertical tail
the vertical airfoil in the tail assembly of an aircraft
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
an instrument with a handle and a flexible lash that is used for whipping
a revolving mechanism
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
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
machine that performs dependably under heavy use
workings, works
the internal mechanism of a device
support consisting of a wooden frame across the shoulders that enables a person to carry buckets hanging from each end
the trademark for a machine that smooths the ice in an ice-skating rink
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
Type of:
instrumentality, instrumentation
an artifact (or system of artifacts) that is instrumental in accomplishing some end

n something in an artistic work designed to achieve a particular effect

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an artistic device or effect
rhetorical device
a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance)
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
the omission of conjunctions where they would normally be used
the repeated use of the same word or word pattern as a rhetorical device
anastrophe, inversion
the reversal of the normal order of words
the use of a word in a sense opposite to its normal sense (especially in irony)
the juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas to give a feeling of balance
substitution of a title for a name
mentioning something by saying it will not be mentioned
breaking off in the middle of a sentence (as by writers of realistic conversations)
address to an absent or imaginary person
strained or paradoxical use of words either in error (as `blatant' to mean `flagrant') or deliberately (as in a mixed metaphor: `blind mouths')
inversion in the second of two parallel phrases
arrangement of clauses in ascending order of forcefulness
interchange of subject and predicate of a proposition
ecphonesis, exclamation
an exclamatory rhetorical device
special and significant stress by means of position or repetition
a substitution of part of speech or gender or number or tense etc. (e.g., editorial `we' for `I')
immediate rephrasing for intensification or justification
a rhetorical device in which the speaker reproaches the audience in order to incite or convince them
use of two conjoined nouns instead of a noun and modifier
reversal of the syntactic relation of two words (as in `her beauty's face')
reversal of normal word order (as in `cheese I love')
use of a series of subjects with a single predicate
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)
using words that imitate the sound they denote
paraleipsis, paralepsis, paralipsis, preterition
suggesting by deliberately concise treatment that much of significance is omitted
juxtaposing words having a common derivation (as in `sense and sensibility')
using several conjunctions in close succession, especially where some might be omitted (as in `he ran and jumped and laughed for joy')
anticipating and answering objections in advance
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
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

n any clever maneuver

“he would stoop to any device to win a point”
gimmick, twist
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

n any ornamental pattern or design (as in embroidery)

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seal, stamp
a device incised to make an impression; used to secure a closing or to authenticate documents
the round leaden seal affixed to a papal bull
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
a seal (especially one used to mark documents officially)
Type of:
design, figure, pattern
a decorative or artistic work

n an emblematic design (especially in heraldry)

“he was recognized by the device on his shield”
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.

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