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



    BrE BrE//ˌæpəˈreɪtəs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌæpəˈrætəs//
    (pl. apparatuses)
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  1. 1[uncountable] the tools or other pieces of equipment that are needed for a particular activity or task a piece of laboratory apparatus Firefighters needed breathing apparatus to enter the burning house. Synonymsequipmentmaterial gear kit apparatusThese are all words for the things that you need for a particular purpose or activity.equipment the things that are needed for a particular purpose or activity:camping equipment a piece of equipment material things that are needed for a particular activity:household cleaning materials teaching materialequipment or material?Equipment is usually solid things, especially large ones. Materials may be liquids, powders or books, CDs, etc. containing information, as well as small solid items.gear the equipment or clothes needed for a particular activity:Skiing gear can be expensive.kit a set of tools or equipment that you use for a particular purpose:a first-aid kit a tool kitapparatus the tools or other pieces of equipment that are needed for a particular activity or task:breathing apparatus for firefighters laboratory apparatus Apparatus is used especially for scientific, medical or technical purposes.Patterns electrical/​electronic equipment/​gear/​apparatus sports equipment/​gear/​kit camping equipment/​gear a piece of equipment/​apparatus
  2. 2[countable, usually singular] the structure of a system or an organization, particularly that of a political party or a government the power of the state apparatus
  3. 3[countable, usually singular] (specialist) a system of organs in the body the sensory apparatus
  4. Word Originearly 17th cent.: from Latin, from apparare ‘make ready for’, from ad- ‘towards’ + parare ‘make ready’.Extra examples the state’s powerful security apparatus It’s a highly sophisticated piece of laboratory apparatus. Science departments say they are lacking basic apparatus. The firefighters had to use breathing apparatus. Under the new system there was to be no all-powerful central state apparatus. We cannot do without the apparatus of government in protecting the rights of the individual.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: apparatus