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

n any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks

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a group of machine parts that fit together to form a self-contained unit
a machine for putting objects or substances into bags
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
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
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
a machine that is used to put corks in bottles
cotton gin, gin
a machine that separates the seeds from raw cotton fibers
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
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
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
a machine that simulates an environment for the purpose of training or research
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
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
a machine that trims timber
machine that performs dependably under heavy use
the trademark for a machine that smooths the ice in an ice-skating rink
a calculator that performs arithmetic functions by manually sliding counters on rods or in grooves
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)
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
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
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
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
motor that converts thermal energy to mechanical work
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
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
a textile machine for weaving yarn into a textile
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
a computer for controlling antiaircraft fire that computes the position of an aircraft at the instant of a shell's arrival
(computer science) an output device that prints the results of data processing
punch press
a power driven press used to shape metal parts
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
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
a unit assembled separately but designed to fit with other units in a manufactured product
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
an assembly of parts welded together
a textile machine having a system of revolving spikes for opening and cleaning raw textile fibers
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:
an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose

n a device for overcoming resistance at one point by applying force at some other point

simple machine
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inclined plane
a simple machine for elevating objects; consists of plane surface that makes an acute angle with the horizontal
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
a small wheel without spokes (as on a roller skate)
roulette, toothed wheel
a wheel with teeth for making a row of perforations
a small spiked wheel at the end of a spur
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
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
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

n an efficient person

“the boxer was a magnificent fighting machine
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

n an intricate organization that accomplishes its goals efficiently

“the war machine
Type of:
organisation, organization
a group of people who work together

n a group that controls the activities of a political party

“he was endorsed by the Democratic machine
political machine
Type of:
organisation, organization
a group of people who work together

n a motor vehicle with four wheels; usually propelled by an internal combustion engine

auto, automobile, car, motorcar
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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
a car that has top that can be folded or removed
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
a car that resembles a convertible but has a fixed rigid top
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
a car that is lent as a replacement for one that is under repair
a car that is even smaller than a subcompact car
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
a limousine with a glass partition between the front and back seats
a sedan that has no roof over the driver's seat
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
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

v turn, shape, mold, or otherwise finish by machinery

Type of:
forge, form, mold, mould, shape, work
make something, usually for a specific function

v make by machinery

“The Americans were machining while others still hand-made cars”
Type of:
create, make, produce
create or manufacture a man-made product

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