Definition of machine noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//məˈʃiːn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//məˈʃiːn//
    How machines work
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  1. 1  (often in compounds) a piece of equipment with moving parts that is designed to do a particular job. The power used to work a machine may be electricity, steam, gas, etc. or human power. Machines have replaced human labour in many industries. to operate/run a machine How does this machine work? a washing/sewing machine a machine for making plastic toys I left a message on her answering machine. The potatoes are planted by machine. see also voting machine See related entries: How machines work
  2. 2  (informal) a particular machine, for example in the home, when you do not refer to it by its full name Just put those clothes in the machine (= the washing machine). The new machines (= computers) will be shipped next month.
  3. 3a group of people that control an organization or part of an organization the president’s propaganda machine Hollywood’s slick public relations machine has produced a new improved model of a young movie star.
  4. 4(often disapproving) a person who acts automatically, without allowing their feelings to show or to affect their work He was the perfect fighting machine with a total disregard for his own personal safety. see also mechanical, fruit machine, slot machine, time machine
  5. You will find other compounds ending in machine at their place in the alphabet.
    Word Originmid 16th cent. (originally denoting a structure): from French, via Latin from Doric Greek makhana (Greek mēkhanē, from mēkhos ‘contrivance’).Extra examples I make my own dresses on my sewing machine. Is the machine working again? Just put those clothes in the machine. The crash victim is now on a life-support machine. The department ran like a well-oiled machine after the reorganization. The independent candidates did not have the support of a party machine. The machine is designed to fit under a counter. The machine runs on solar power. The potatoes are planted by machine. Tired of being a tiny cog in a vast machine, he handed in his resignation. We’ve had a new washing machine installed. What make of machine are they using? a machine for making coffee machine tools for making weapons Do you know how to operate this machine? It’s a machine for making plastic toys. Machines replaced human labour in many industries. The new machines will be shipped next month. a sewing/​washing machineIdioms
    a cog in the machine/wheel
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    (informal) a person who is a small part of a large organization
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: machine