machine

At its simplest, a machine is an invention that does a job better and faster and more powerfully than a human being.

Despite being man-made we’ve come to think of the word machine as the very opposite of human. The Machine Age we live in is considered impersonal and overwhelming, and anything machine-like is often considered soulless or even dangerous. (Witness the countless fantasies of robots taking over the world.) Human beings working together, like "the cogs of a machine," can become more powerful than a single person. That's why sports teams or political organizations are often described as "well-oiled machines."

Definitions of machine
  1. noun
    any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks
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    types:
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    assembly
    a group of machine parts that fit together to form a self-contained unit
    bagger
    a machine for putting objects or substances into bags
    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
    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
    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
    cement mixer, concrete mixer
    a machine with a large revolving drum in which cement is mixed with other materials to make concrete
    corker
    a machine that is used to put corks in bottles
    cotton gin, gin
    a machine that separates the seeds from raw cotton fibers
    decoder
    a machine that converts a coded text into ordinary language
    farm machine
    a machine used in farming
    franking machine
    a machine that automatically stamps letters or packages passing through it and computes the total charge
    hop-picker, hopper
    a machine used for picking hops
    machinery
    machines or machine systems collectively
    machine tool
    a powered machine for cutting or shaping or finishing metals or other materials
    milking machine
    machine consisting of a suction apparatus for milking cows mechanically
    motor
    machine that converts other forms of energy into mechanical energy and so imparts motion
    paving machine, pavior, paviour
    a machine for laying pavement
    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
    pile driver
    a machine that drives piling into the ground
    digger, excavator, power shovel, shovel
    a machine for excavating
    power tool
    a tool driven by a motor
    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
    phonograph, record player
    machine in which rotating records cause a stylus to vibrate and the vibrations are amplified acoustically or electronically
    riveter, riveting machine, rivetter
    a machine for driving rivets
    feeder, self-feeder
    a machine that automatically provides a supply of some material
    simulator
    a machine that simulates an environment for the purpose of training or research
    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
    snow blower, snow thrower
    a machine that removes snow by scooping it up and throwing it forcefully through a chute
    sorter
    a machine for sorting things (such as punched cards or letters) into classes
    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
    textile machine
    a machine for making textiles
    time machine
    a science fiction machine that is supposed to transport people or objects into the past or the future
    trimmer
    a machine that trims timber
    workhorse
    machine that performs dependably under heavy use
    Zamboni
    the trademark for a machine that smooths the ice in an ice-skating rink
    abacus
    a calculator that performs arithmetic functions by manually sliding counters on rods or in grooves
    adder
    a machine that adds numbers
    adding machine, totaliser, totalizer
    a calculator that performs simple arithmetic functions
    Addressograph, addressing machine
    a printer that automatically prints addresses on letters for mailing
    analog computer, analogue computer
    a computer that represents information by variable quantities (e.g., positions or voltages)
    backhoe
    an excavator whose shovel bucket is attached to a hinged boom and is drawn backward to move earth
    buffer, polisher
    a power tool used to buff surfaces
    burr
    rotary file for smoothing rough edges left on a workpiece
    character printer, character-at-a-time printer, serial printer
    a printer that prints a single character at a time
    cheese press
    a press for shaping cheese curd
    ciderpress
    a press that is used to extract the juice from apples
    counter, tabulator
    a calculator that keeps a record of the number of times something happens
    cultivator, tiller
    a farm implement used to break up the surface of the soil (for aeration and weed control and conservation of moisture)
    digital computer
    a computer that represents information by numerical (binary) digits
    dredge
    a power shovel to remove material from a channel or riverbed
    drill press
    a machine tool with a separate, upright stand; an electric drill is pressed into the work automatically or with a hand lever
    drum sander, electric sander, sander, smoother
    a power tool used for sanding wood; an endless loop of sandpaper is moved at high speed by an electric motor
    electric motor
    a motor that converts electricity to mechanical work
    electrostatic printer
    a printer that uses an electric charge to deposit toner on paper
    engine
    motor that converts thermal energy to mechanical work
    enginery
    machinery consisting of engines collectively
    cylinder press, flatbed press
    a printing press where the type is carried on a flat bed under a cylinder that holds paper and rolls over the type
    flight simulator, trainer
    simulator consisting of a machine on the ground that simulates the conditions of flying a plane
    garlic press
    a press for extracting juice from garlic
    acoustic gramophone, gramophone
    an antique record player; the sound of the vibrating needle is amplified acoustically
    grinder
    a machine tool that polishes metal
    hammer, power hammer
    a power tool for drilling rocks
    hand calculator, pocket calculator
    a calculator small enough to hold in the hand or carry in a pocket
    harvester, reaper
    farm machine that gathers a food crop from the fields
    hay conditioner, haymaker
    a farm machine that treats hay to cause more rapid and even drying
    home computer
    a computer intended for use in the home
    hydraulic press
    press in which a force applied by a piston to a small area is transmitted through water to another piston having a large area
    impact printer
    a printer that prints by mechanical impacts
    jukebox, nickelodeon
    a cabinet containing an automatic record player; records are played by inserting a coin
    knitting machine
    a textile machine that makes knitted fabrics
    line printer, line-at-a-time printer
    printer that serves as an output device on a computer; prints a whole line of characters at a time
    loom
    a textile machine for weaving yarn into a textile
    mailsorter
    a sorter for sorting mail according to the address
    grinder, mill, milling machinery
    machinery that processes materials by grinding or crushing
    Napier's bones, Napier's rods
    a set of graduated rods formerly used to do multiplication and division by a method invented by John Napier
    client, guest, node
    (computer science) any computer that is hooked up to a computer network
    number cruncher
    a computer capable of performing a large number of mathematical operations per second
    page printer, page-at-a-time printer
    a printer that prints one page at a time
    pari-mutuel machine, totalisator, totaliser, totalizator, totalizer
    computer that registers bets and divides the total amount bet among those who won
    plane, planer, planing machine
    a power tool for smoothing or shaping wood
    power drill
    a power tool for drilling holes into hard materials
    power saw, saw, sawing machine
    a power tool for cutting wood
    predictor
    a computer for controlling antiaircraft fire that computes the position of an aircraft at the instant of a shell's arrival
    printer
    (computer science) an output device that prints the results of data processing
    punch press
    a power driven press used to shape metal parts
    quipu
    calculator consisting of a cord with attached cords; used by ancient Peruvians for calculating and keeping records
    rotary press
    a printing press for printing from a revolving cylinder
    router
    a power tool with a shaped cutter; used in carpentry for cutting grooves
    host, server
    (computer science) a computer that provides client stations with access to files and printers as shared resources to a computer network
    sewing machine
    a textile machine used as a home appliance for sewing
    shaper, shaping machine
    a machine tool for shaping metal or wood
    one-armed bandit, slot
    a slot machine that is used for gambling
    spinning machine
    a textile machine for spinning yarn and thread
    stamper, stamping machine
    a power tool that stamps
    standing press
    a large printing press that exerts pressure vertically
    steam shovel
    a power shovel that is driven by steam
    stepper, stepping motor
    a motor (especially an electric motor) that moves or rotates in small discrete steps
    sub-assembly
    a unit assembled separately but designed to fit with other units in a manufactured product
    subtracter
    a machine that subtracts numbers
    thermal printer
    a printer that produces characters by applying heat to special paper that is sensitive to heat
    thrasher, thresher, threshing machine
    a farm machine for separating seeds or grain from the husks and straw
    Turing machine
    a hypothetical computer with an infinitely long memory tape
    typesetting machine
    a printer that sets textual material in type
    vending machine
    a slot machine for selling goods
    weldment
    an assembly of parts welded together
    willow
    a textile machine having a system of revolving spikes for opening and cleaning raw textile fibers
    winepress
    a press that is used to extract the juice from grapes
    internet site, site, web site, website
    a computer connected to the internet that maintains a series of web pages on the World Wide Web
    type of:
    device
    an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose
  2. noun
    a device for overcoming resistance at one point by applying force at some other point
    synonyms: simple machine
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    types:
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    inclined plane
    a simple machine for elevating objects; consists of plane surface that makes an acute angle with the horizontal
    lever
    a simple machine that gives a mechanical advantage when given a fulcrum
    block, pulley, pulley block, pulley-block
    a simple machine consisting of a wheel with a groove in which a rope can run to change the direction or point of application of a force applied to the rope
    wheel
    a simple machine consisting of a circular frame with spokes (or a solid disc) that can rotate on a shaft or axle (as in vehicles or other machines)
    balance, balance wheel
    a wheel that regulates the rate of movement in a machine; especially a wheel oscillating against the hairspring of a timepiece to regulate its beat
    bicycle wheel
    the wheel of a bicycle
    bollock, bullock block
    a pulley-block at the head of a topmast
    buffing wheel
    a wheel that is covered with soft material
    cartwheel
    a wheel that has wooden spokes and a metal rim
    car wheel
    a wheel that has a tire and rim and hubcap; used to propel the car
    daisy print wheel, daisy wheel
    a wheel around which is a set of print characters that make a typing impression on paper
    driving wheel
    a wheel that drives a motor vehicle (transforms torque into a tractive force)
    fairlead
    a pulley-block used to guide a rope forming part of a ship's rigging to avoid chafing
    cogwheel, gear, gear wheel, geared wheel
    a toothed wheel that engages another toothed mechanism in order to change the speed or direction of transmitted motion
    emery wheel, grinding wheel
    a wheel composed of abrasive material; used for grinding
    handwheel
    a wheel worked by hand
    idle pulley, idle wheel, idler pulley
    a pulley on a shaft that presses against a guide belt to guide or tighten it
    nosewheel
    a wheel located under the nose of an airplane that is part of the plane's landing gear
    paddle wheel, paddlewheel
    a large wheel fitted with paddles and driven by an engine in order to propel a boat
    pinwheel
    a wheel that has numerous pins that are set at right angles to its rim
    potter's wheel
    a horizontal rotating wheel holding the clay being shaped by a potter
    incline, ramp
    an inclined surface connecting two levels
    ratchet wheel
    toothed wheel held in place by a pawl or detent and turned by a lever
    roller
    a small wheel without spokes (as on a roller skate)
    roulette, toothed wheel
    a wheel with teeth for making a row of perforations
    rowel
    a small spiked wheel at the end of a spur
    screw
    a simple machine of the inclined-plane type consisting of a spirally threaded cylindrical rod that engages with a similarly threaded hole
    sprocket, sprocket wheel
    thin wheel with teeth that engage with a chain
    trundle
    small wheel or roller
    wagon wheel
    a wheel of a wagon
    water wheel, waterwheel
    a wheel that rotates by direct action of water; a simple turbine
    water wheel, waterwheel
    a wheel with buckets attached to its rim; raises water from a stream or pond
    wedge
    something solid that is usable as an inclined plane (shaped like a V) that can be pushed between two things to separate them
    type of:
    mechanical device
    mechanism consisting of a device that works on mechanical principles
  3. noun
    an efficient person
    “the boxer was a magnificent fighting machine
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    bionic man, bionic woman, cyborg
    a human being whose body has been taken over in whole or in part by electromechanical devices
    type of:
    individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
    a human being
  4. noun
    an intricate organization that accomplishes its goals efficiently
    “the war machine
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    type of:
    organisation, organization
    a group of people who work together
  5. noun
    a group that controls the activities of a political party
    “he was endorsed by the Democratic machine
    synonyms: political machine
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    type of:
    organisation, organization
    a group of people who work together
  6. noun
    a motor vehicle with four wheels; usually propelled by an internal combustion engine
    synonyms: auto, automobile, car, motorcar
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    ambulance
    a vehicle that takes people to and from hospitals
    beach waggon, beach wagon, estate car, station waggon, station wagon, waggon, wagon
    a car that has a long body and rear door with space behind rear seat
    bus, heap, jalopy
    a car that is old and unreliable
    cab, hack, taxi, taxicab
    a car driven by a person whose job is to take passengers where they want to go in exchange for money
    compact, compact car
    a small and economical car
    convertible
    a car that has top that can be folded or removed
    coupe
    a car with two doors and front seats and a luggage compartment
    cruiser, patrol car, police car, police cruiser, prowl car, squad car
    a car in which policemen cruise the streets; equipped with radiotelephonic communications to headquarters
    electric, electric automobile, electric car
    a car that is powered by electricity
    gas guzzler
    a car with relatively low fuel efficiency
    hardtop
    a car that resembles a convertible but has a fixed rigid top
    hatchback
    a car having a hatchback door
    horseless carriage
    an early term for an automobile
    hot rod, hot-rod
    a car modified to increase its speed and acceleration
    jeep, landrover
    a car suitable for traveling over rough terrain
    limo, limousine
    large luxurious car; usually driven by a chauffeur
    loaner
    a car that is lent as a replacement for one that is under repair
    minicar
    a car that is even smaller than a subcompact car
    minivan
    a small box-shaped passenger van; usually has removable seats; used as a family car
    Model T
    the first widely available automobile powered by a gasoline engine; mass-produced by Henry Ford from 1908 to 1927
    pace car
    a high-performance car that leads a parade of competing cars through the pace lap and then pulls off the course
    race car, racer, racing car
    a fast car that competes in races
    roadster, runabout, two-seater
    an open automobile having a front seat and a rumble seat
    saloon, sedan
    a car that is closed and that has front and rear seats and two or four doors
    sport car, sports car
    a small low car with a high-powered engine; usually seats two persons
    S.U.V., SUV, sport utility, sport utility vehicle
    a high-performance four-wheel drive car built on a truck chassis
    Stanley Steamer
    a steam-powered automobile
    stock car
    a car kept in dealers' stock for regular sales
    subcompact, subcompact car
    a car smaller than a compact car
    phaeton, tourer, touring car
    large open car seating four with folding top
    secondhand car, used-car
    a car that has been previously owned; not a new car
    berlin
    a limousine with a glass partition between the front and back seats
    brougham
    a sedan that has no roof over the driver's seat
    finisher
    a race car that finishes a race
    funny wagon
    an ambulance used to transport patients to a mental hospital
    gypsy cab
    a taxicab that cruises for customers although it is licensed only to respond to calls
    minicab
    a minicar used as a taxicab
    panda car
    a police cruiser
    shooting brake
    another name for a station wagon
    stock car
    a racing car with the basic chassis of a commercially available car
    type of:
    automotive vehicle, motor vehicle
    a self-propelled wheeled vehicle that does not run on rails
  7. verb
    turn, shape, mold, or otherwise finish by machinery
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    type of:
    forge, form, mold, mould, shape, work
    make something, usually for a specific function
  8. verb
    make by machinery
    “The Americans were machining while others still hand-made cars”
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    type of:
    create, make, produce
    create or manufacture a man-made product
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