Word of the Day



1. a piece of equipment that does a particular job by using electricity, steam, gas etc

2. a person or animal that does something very effectively

3. the people and things that are used for achieving a particular aim

Origin and usage

The word machine comes from the Greek word ‘makhana’ meaning ‘device’. The word first appeared in English around 1540 to describe a structure of any kind. Eventually, its modern usage, as a word to describe a piece of equipment with lots of moving parts, emerged around 1670.


The word machine has many different meanings, but it is most frequently used to describe a device or piece of equipment with several moving parts that uses power from a source like electricity or gas to do a particular job.

Machines can be simple, like a lever or pulley, or they can be more complex, like a computer or an automobile. The main purpose of a machine is to make things easier for people, like lifting and moving heavy objects around, working out a mathematical equation or even ordering food from a restaurant. These days, it’s practically impossible to get through the day without using a machine of one variety or another!


“We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they’re called memories. Some take us forward, they’re called dreams.”

(Jeremy Irons)

Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.”

(Alan Turing)


device; appliance; contraption

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary is an award-winning, one-stop reference for English learners and speakers around the world.

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