Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: GROUPINGS

Date: 1500-1600
Language: Old French
Origin: Latin machina, from Greek mechane, from mechos 'way of doing things'

machine

1 noun
     
ma‧chine1 S1 W1 [countable]
1 a piece of equipment with moving parts that uses power such as electricity to do a particular job
washing/sewing etc machine
Is the washing machine working now?
Could you get me a coffee from the drinks machine?
The fax machine is broken.
switch/turn a machine on/off
Turn the machine off before removing the cover.
by machine
The letters are sorted by machine.
Did you put my dirty shirts in the machine (=washing machine)?
I left a message for you on your machine (=telephone answering machine).
The machine wouldn't let me have any money (=cash machine).
answering machine, cash machine, vending machine
2TDTD a computer:
My machine's just crashed.
3PPG a group of people who control and organize something - often used to show disapproval:
the bureaucrats of the party machine
the government's propaganda machine
the powerful American war machine
4TT informal a vehicle, especially a motorbike:
Riders have to learn to handle their machines in all conditions.
That's a mean machine (=very fast and attractive vehicle) you have there.
5 a person or animal that does something very well or without having to think about it:
In the tiger, nature has produced the perfect hunting machine.
I'm not a golfing machine. I make mistakes just like anyone else.
6 someone who seems to behave like a machine and to have no feelings or thoughts [= automaton]
7

a well-oiled machine

something that works very smoothly and effectively:
The office runs like a well-oiled machine.
WORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE:

machine, device, gadget, appliance
A machine is a piece of equipment that uses power to do a particular job. It is usually large and stays in the same place a machine that sorts mail a washing machine You use the words device and gadget especially when you think the equipment is very cleverly designed. A device is a piece of equipment that does a particular job, for example takes measurements or controls the operation of a machine. It may use electrical power or be used by hand a device for detecting blood alcohol levels from breath samples a temperature control device A gadget is a small piece of equipment that does something useful or impressive one of those gadgets that sorts coins kitchen gadgets An appliance is a piece of electrical equipment used in your home such as a washing machine or fridge. This word is used especially by the companies that produce and sell them the world's largest producer of household appliances domestic appliances
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