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definitions - machine

machine (n.)

1.a motor vehicle with four wheels; usually propelled by an internal combustion engine"he needs a car to get to work"

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

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

4.a group that controls the activities of a political party"he was endorsed by the Democratic machine"

5.an intricate organization that accomplishes its goals efficiently"the war machine"

6.an efficient person"the boxer was a magnificent fighting machine"

machine (v.)

1.make by machinery"The Americans were machining while others still hand-made cars"

2.turn, shape, mold, or otherwise finish by machinery

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Merriam Webster

MachineMa*chine" (mȧ*shēn"), n. [F., fr. L. machina machine, engine, device, trick, Gr. mhchanh`, from mh^chos means, expedient. Cf. Mechanic.]
1. In general, any combination of bodies so connected that their relative motions are constrained, and by means of which force and motion may be transmitted and modified, as a screw and its nut, or a lever arranged to turn about a fulcrum or a pulley about its pivot, etc.; especially, a construction, more or less complex, consisting of a combination of moving parts, or simple mechanical elements, as wheels, levers, cams, etc., with their supports and connecting framework, calculated to constitute a prime mover, or to receive force and motion from a prime mover or from another machine, and transmit, modify, and apply them to the production of some desired mechanical effect or work, as weaving by a loom, or the excitation of electricity by an electrical machine.

☞ The term machine is most commonly applied to such pieces of mechanism as are used in the industrial arts, for mechanically shaping, dressing, and combining materials for various purposes, as in the manufacture of cloth, etc. Where the effect is chemical, or other than mechanical, the contrivance is usually denominated an apparatus or device, not a machine; as, a bleaching apparatus. Many large, powerful, or specially important pieces of mechanism are called engines; as, a steam engine, fire engine, graduating engine, etc. Although there is no well-settled distinction between the terms engine and machine among practical men, there is a tendency to restrict the application of the former to contrivances in which the operating part is not distinct from the motor.

2. Any mechanical contrivance, as the wooden horse with which the Greeks entered Troy; a coach; a bicycle. Dryden. Southey. Thackeray.

3. A person who acts mechanically or at the will of another.

4. A combination of persons acting together for a common purpose, with the agencies which they use; as, the social machine.

The whole machine of government ought not to bear upon the people with a weight so heavy and oppressive. Landor.

5. A political organization arranged and controlled by one or more leaders for selfish, private or partisan ends; the Tammany machine. [Political Cant]

6. Supernatural agency in a poem, or a superhuman being introduced to perform some exploit. Addison.

Elementary machine, a name sometimes given to one of the simple mechanical powers. See under Mechanical. -- Infernal machine. See under Infernal. -- Machine gun.See under Gun. -- Machine screw, a screw or bolt adapted for screwing into metal, in distinction from one which is designed especially to be screwed into wood. -- Machine shop, a workshop where machines are made, or where metal is shaped by cutting, filing, turning, etc. -- Machine tool, a machine for cutting or shaping wood, metal, etc., by means of a tool; especially, a machine, as a lathe, planer, drilling machine, etc., designed for a more or less general use in a machine shop, in distinction from a machine for producing a special article as in manufacturing. -- Machine twist, silken thread especially adapted for use in a sewing machine. -- Machine work, work done by a machine, in contradistinction to that done by hand labor.

MachineMa*chine", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Machined (mȧ*shēnd"); p. pr. & vb. n. Machining.] To subject to the action of machinery; to make, cut, shape, or modify with a machine; to effect by aid of machinery; to print with a printing machine.

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definition (more)

definition of Wikipedia

synonyms - machine

machine (n.)

aid, apparatus, appliance, automaton, automobile, car, contraption, contrivance, device, dispenser, engine, gadget, installation, instrument, jalopy, mechanism, motor car, organisation, political machine, rattletrap, robot, simple machine, slot machine, tool, tools, unit, utensil, auto  (American), banger  (colloquial, British), crock  (colloquial, British), motorcar  (spéc. anglais britannique), runabout  (colloquial)

see also - machine

machine (n.)

automotive, motoring


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analogical dictionary


machine (fr)[Classe...]

objet (fr)[Classe...]


machine (n.)

machine (n.)

Wikipedia - see also



Bonsack's machine
  James Albert Bonsack's cigarette rolling machine, invented in 1880 and patented in 1881.

A machine is a tool consisting of one or more parts that is constructed to achieve a particular goal. Machines are powered devices, usually mechanically, chemically, thermally or electrically powered, and are frequently motorized. Historically, a device required moving parts to classify as a machine; however, the advent of electronics technology has led to the development of devices without moving parts that are considered machines.[1]

The word "machine" is derived from the Latin word machina,[1] which in turn derives from the Doric Greek μαχανά (machana), Ionic Greek μηχανή (mechane) "contrivance, machine, engine"[2] and that from μῆχος (mechos), "means, expedient, remedy".[3] The meaning of machine is traced by the Oxford English Dictionary[4] to an independently functioning structure and by Merriam-Webster Dictionary[5] to something that has been constructed. This includes human design into the meaning of machine.

A simple machine is a device that simply transforms the direction or magnitude of a force, but a large number of more complex machines exist. Examples include vehicles, electronic systems, molecular machines, computers, television and radio.



  Flint hand axe found in Winchester

Perhaps the first example of a human made device designed to manage power is the hand axe, made by chipping flint to form a wedge. A wedge is a simple machine that transforms lateral force and movement of the tool into a transverse splitting force and movement of the workpiece.

The idea of a "simple machine" originated with the Greek philosopher Archimedes around the 3rd century BC, who studied the "Archimedean" simple machines: lever, pulley, and screw.[6][7] He discovered the principle of mechanical advantage in the lever.[8] Later Greek philosophers defined the classic five simple machines (excluding the inclined plane) and were able to roughly calculate their mechanical advantage.[9] Heron of Alexandria (ca. 10–75 AD) in his work Mechanics lists five mechanisms that can "set a load in motion"; lever, windlass, pulley, wedge, and screw,[7] and describes their fabrication and uses.[10] However the Greeks' understanding was limited to the statics of simple machines; the balance of forces, and did not include dynamics; the tradeoff between force and distance, or the concept of work.

During the Renaissance the dynamics of the Mechanical Powers, as the simple machines were called, began to be studied from the standpoint of how much useful work they could perform, leading eventually to the new concept of mechanical work. In 1586 Flemish engineer Simon Stevin derived the mechanical advantage of the inclined plane, and it was included with the other simple machines. The complete dynamic theory of simple machines was worked out by Italian scientist Galileo Galilei in 1600 in Le Meccaniche ("On Mechanics").[11][12] He was the first to understand that simple machines do not create energy, only transform it.[11]

The classic rules of sliding friction in machines were discovered by Leonardo Da Vinci (1452–1519), but remained unpublished in his notebooks. They were rediscovered by Guillaume Amontons (1699) and were further developed by Charles-Augustin de Coulomb (1785).[13]


Types of machines and related components
Classification Machine(s)
Simple machines Inclined plane, Wheel and axle, Lever, Pulley, Wedge, Screw
Mechanical components Axle, Bearings, Belts, Bucket, Fastener, Gear, Key, Link chains, Rack and pinion, Roller chains, Rope, Seals, Spring, Wheel
Clock Atomic clock, Chronometer, Pendulum clock, Quartz clock
Compressors and Pumps Archimedes' screw, Eductor-jet pump, Hydraulic ram, Pump, Trompe, Vacuum pump
Heat engines External combustion engines Steam engine, Stirling engine
Internal combustion engines Reciprocating engine, Gas turbine
Heat pumps Absorption refrigerator, Thermoelectric refrigerator, Regenerative cooling
Linkages Pantograph, Cam, Peaucellier-Lipkin
Turbine Gas turbine, Jet engine, Steam turbine, Water turbine, Wind generator, Windmill
Aerofoil Sail, Wing, Rudder, Flap, Propeller
Electronic devices Vacuum tube, Transistor, Diode, Resistor, Capacitor, Inductor, Memristor, Semiconductor, Computer
Robots Actuator, Servo, Servomechanism, Stepper motor, Computer
Miscellaneous Vending machine, Wind tunnel, Check weighing machines, Riveting machines


  Simple machines

  Table of simple mechanisms, from Chambers' Cyclopedia, 1728.[14] Simple machines provide a "vocabulary" for understanding more complex machines.

The idea that a machine can be broken down into simple movable elements led Archimedes to define the lever, pulley and screw as simple machines. By the time of the Renaissance this list increased to include the wheel and axle, wedge and inclined plane.


An engine or motor is a machine designed to convert energy into useful mechanical motion.[15][16] Heat engines, including internal combustion engines and external combustion engines (such as steam engines) burn a fuel to create heat which is then used to create motion. Electric motors convert electrical energy into mechanical motion, pneumatic motors use compressed air and others, such as wind-up toys use elastic energy. In biological systems, molecular motors like myosins in muscles use chemical energy to create motion.


  Electrical machine

An electrical machine is the generic name for a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy, converts electrical energy to mechanical energy, or changes alternating current from one voltage level to a different voltage level.

  Electronic machine

Electronics is the branch of physics, engineering and technology dealing with electrical circuits that involve active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies. The nonlinear behaviour of active components and their ability to control electron flows makes amplification of weak signals possible and is usually applied to information and signal processing. Similarly, the ability of electronic devices to act as switches makes digital information processing possible. Interconnection technologies such as circuit boards, electronics packaging technology, and other varied forms of communication infrastructure complete circuit functionality and transform the mixed components into a working system.

  Computing machines

Computers store and manipulate the flow of electrons, with patterns in this storage and flow being interpreted as information manipulation. See State machine and Turing machine.

Charles Babbage designed various machines to tabulate logarithms and other functions in 1837. His Difference engine is the first mechanical calculator. This machine is considered to be the forerunner of the modern computer though none of them were built in his lifetime.

  Molecular machines

Study of the molecules and proteins that are the basis of biological functions has led to the concept of a molecular machine. For example, current models of the operation of the kinesin molecule that transports vesicles inside the cell as well as the myocin molecule that operates against actin to cause muscle contraction; these molecules control movement in response to chemical stimuli.

Researchers in nano-technology are working to construct molecules that perform movement in response to a specific stimulus. In contrast to molecules such as kinesin and myosin, these nano-machines or molecular machines are constructions like traditional machines that are designed to perform in a task.

  Machine elements

Machines are assembled from standardized types of components. These elements consist of mechanisms that control movement in various ways such as gear trains, transistor switches, belt or chain drives, linkages, cam and follower systems, brakes and clutches, and structural components such as frame members and fasteners.

Modern machines include sensors, actuators and computer controllers. The shape, texture and color of covers provide a styling and operational interface between the mechanical components of a machine and its users.


Assemblies within a machine that control movement are often called "mechanisms." [17][18] Mechanisms are generally classified as gears and gear trains, cam and follower mechanisms, and linkages, though there are other special mechanisms such as clamping linkages, indexing mechanisms and friction devices such as brakes and clutches.

For more details on mechanical machines see Machine (mechanical) and Mechanical systems.


Controllers combine sensors, logic, and actuators to maintain the performance of components of a machine. Perhaps the best known is the flyball governor for a steam engine. Examples of these devices range from a thermostat that as temperature rises opens a valve to cooling water to speed controllers such the cruise control system in an automobile. The programmable logic controller replaced relays and specialized control mechanisms with a programmable computer. Servomotors that accurately position a shaft in response to an electrical command are the actuators that make robotic systems possible.


Design plays an important role in all three of the major phases of a product lifecycle:

  1. invention, which involves the identification of a need, development of requirements, concept generation, prototype development, manufacturing, and verification testing;
  2. performance engineering involves enhancing manufacturing efficiency, reducing service and maintenance demands, adding features and improving effectiveness, and validation testing;
  3. recycle is the decommissioning and disposal phase and includes recovery and reuse of materials and components.


  Industrial revolution

The Industrial Revolution was a period from 1750 to 1850 where changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times. It began in the United Kingdom, then subsequently spread throughout Western Europe, North America, Japan, and eventually the rest of the world.

Starting in the later part of the 18th century, there began a transition in parts of Great Britain's previously manual labour and draft-animal–based economy towards machine-based manufacturing. It started with the mechanisation of the textile industries, the development of iron-making techniques and the increased use of refined coal.[19]

  Mechanization and automation

  A water-powered mine hoist used for raising ore. This woodblock is from De re metallica by George Bauer (pen name Georgius Agricola, ca. 1555) an early mining textbook that contains numerous drawings and descriptions of mining equipment.

Mechanization or mechanisation (BE) is providing human operators with machinery that assists them with the muscular requirements of work or displaces muscular work. In some fields, mechanization includes the use of hand tools. In modern usage, such as in engineering or economics, mechanization implies machinery more complex than hand tools and would not include simple devices such as an un-geared horse or donkey mill. Devices that cause speed changes or changes to or from reciprocating to rotary motion, using means such as gears, pulleys or sheaves and belts, shafts, cams and cranks, usually are considered machines. After electrification, when most small machinery was no longer hand powered, mechanization was synonymous with motorized machines.[20]

Automation is the use of control systems and information technologies to reduce the need for human work in the production of goods and services. In the scope of industrialization, automation is a step beyond mechanization. Whereas mechanization provides human operators with machinery to assist them with the muscular requirements of work, automation greatly decreases the need for human sensory and mental requirements as well. Automation plays an increasingly important role in the world economy and in daily experience.


  The Digesting Duck by Jacques de Vaucanson, hailed in 1739 as the first automaton capable of digestion

An automaton (plural: automata or automatons) is a self-operating machine. The word is sometimes used to describe a robot, more specifically an autonomous robot. An alternative spelling, now obsolete, is automation.[21]

  See also


  1. ^ a b The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1985.
  2. ^ "μηχανή", Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus project
  3. ^ "μῆχος", Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus project
  4. ^ Oxford English Dictionary
  5. ^ Merriam-Webster Dictionary Definition of machine
  6. ^ Asimov, Isaac (1988), Understanding Physics, New York, New York, USA: Barnes & Noble, p. 88, ISBN 0-88029-251-2, http://books.google.com/books?id=pSKvaLV6zkcC&pg=PA88&dq=Asimov+simple+machine&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false. 
  7. ^ a b Chiu, Y. C. (2010), An introduction to the History of Project Management, Delft: Eburon Academic Publishers, pp. 42, ISBN 90-5972-437-2, http://books.google.com/books?id=osNrPO3ivZoC&pg=PA42&dq=%22heron+of+alexandria%22++load+motion#v=onepage&q=%22heron%20of%20alexandria%22%20%20load%20motion&f=false 
  8. ^ Ostdiek, Vern; Bord, Donald (2005). Inquiry into Physics. Thompson Brooks/Cole. p. 123. ISBN 0-534-49168-5. http://books.google.com/books?id=7kz2pd14hPUC&pg=PA123. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  9. ^ Usher, Abbott Payson (1988). A History of Mechanical Inventions. USA: Courier Dover Publications. pp. 98. ISBN 0-486-25593-X. http://books.google.com/books?id=xuDDqqa8FlwC&pg=PA196#v=snippet&q=wedge%20and%20screw&f=false. 
  10. ^ Strizhak, Viktor; Igor Penkov, Toivo Pappel (2004). "Evolution of design, use, and strength calculations of screw threads and threaded joints". HMM2004 International Symposium on History of Machines and Mechanisms. Kluwer Academic publishers. p. 245. ISBN 1-4020-2203-4. http://books.google.com/books?id=FqZvlMnjqY0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22archimedean+simple+machine%22&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  11. ^ a b Krebs, Robert E. (2004). Groundbreaking Experiments, Inventions, and Discoveries of the Middle Ages. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 163. ISBN 0-313-32433-6. http://books.google.com/books?id=MTXdplfiz-cC&pg=PA163&dq=%22mechanics+Galileo+analyzed%22#v=onepage&q=%22mechanics%20Galileo%20analyzed%22&f=false. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  12. ^ Stephen, Donald; Lowell Cardwell (2001). Wheels, clocks, and rockets: a history of technology. USA: W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 85–87. ISBN 0-393-32175-4. http://books.google.com/books?id=BSfpFLV1nkAC&pg=PA86&dq=%22simple+machine%22+galileo#v=onepage&q=%22simple%20machine%22%20galileo&f=false. 
  13. ^ Armstrong-Hélouvry, Brian (1991). Control of machines with friction. USA: Springer. pp. 10. ISBN 0-7923-9133-0. http://books.google.com/books?id=0zk_zI3xACgC&pg=PA10&dq=friction+leonardo+da+vinci+amontons+coulomb#v=onepage&q=friction%20leonardo%20da%20vinci%20amontons%20coulomb&f=false. 
  14. ^ Chambers, Ephraim (1728), "Table of Mechanicks", Cyclopaedia, A Useful Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (London, England) Volume 2: p. 528, Plate 11 .
  15. ^ "Motor". Dictionary.reference.com. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/motor. Retrieved 2011-05-09. "a person or thing that imparts motion, esp. a contrivance, as a steam engine, that receives and modifies energy from some natural source in order to utilize it in driving machinery." 
  16. ^ Dictionary.com: (World heritage) "3. any device that converts another form of energy into mechanical energy to produce motion"
  17. ^ Reuleaux, F., 1876 The Kinematics of Machinery, (trans. and annotated by A. B. W. Kennedy), reprinted by Dover, New York (1963)
  18. ^ J. J. Uicker, G. R. Pennock, and J. E. Shigley, 2003, Theory of Machines and Mechanisms, Oxford University Press, New York.
  19. ^ Beck B., Roger (1999). World History: Patterns of Interaction. Evanston, Illinois: McDougal Littell. 
  20. ^ Jerome (1934) gives the industry classification of machine tools as being "other than hand power". Beginning with the 1900 U.S. census, power use was part of the definition of a factory, distinguishing it from a workshop.
  21. ^ "U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Patent# 40891, Toy Automation". Google Patents. http://www.google.com/patents?id=QhIAAAAAEBAJ&dq=patent:40891%7C. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 

  Further reading

  • Oberg, Erik; Franklin D. Jones, Holbrook L. Horton, and Henry H. Ryffel (2000). ed. Christopher J. McCauley, Riccardo Heald, and Muhammed Iqbal Hussain. ed. Machinery's Handbook (26th edition ed.). New York: Industrial Press Inc.. ISBN 0-8311-2635-3. 
  • Reuleaux, Franz; (trans. and annotated by A. B. W. Kennedy) (1876). The Kinematics of Machinery. New York: reprinted by Dover (1963). 
  • Uicker, J. J.; G. R. Pennock and J. E. Schigley (2003). Theory of Machines and Mechanisms. New York: Oxford University Press. 


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15"x15" Digital Clamshell Heat Press Machine, BONUS - Vinyl pcs, Teflon, Tshirts (179.0 USD)

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Electro-Harmonix B9 Organ Machine Guitar Effect Pedal Mint, 1 Year Warranty (179.77 USD)

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Professional electric acrylic nail drill file machine kit with bits Manicure USA (19.09 USD)

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Apple Slinky Machine Peeler Corer Potato Fruit Cutter Slicer Kitchen Tool Red (15.95 USD)

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Refillable Coffee Single Cup For Keurig K-Cups Reusable Filter Mr.Coffee Machine (14.99 USD)

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