Language tip of the week: machine

Posted by on October 24, 2013

Learn English with Macmillan DictionaryIn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc.

This week’s language tip helps with other ways of saying machine:

device: a small machine that has been designed to do something specific:
a device for measuring the temperature inside and outside the house ♦ a safety/explosive device
appliance: a machine that has a practical use in the home:
household appliances such as cookers and dishwashers
gadget: a small machine that does something useful, or is designed to do something useful but is in fact useless or unnecessary:
a great little gadget that tells you when your egg is boiled
tool: an instrument that you hold in your hand to do something physical:
the set of tools he uses for repairing the car
equipment: things that you use for doing a particular job or for a particular purpose:
play/kitchen/diving/climbing equipment ♦ The gardeners had left a pile of equipment lying on the lawn.
implement: a specially shaped object that you use for doing something specific:
a cutting/writing implement
contraption: a machine that is very complicated and looks rather strange:
an odd contraption that he must have made himself
mechanism: a part of a machine that does something specific, especially something that involves opening or closing:
I tried to open it but the mechanism had jammed.

More language tips

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