Mechanism
Mechanism Mech"an*ism, n. [Cf. F. m['e]canisme, L. mechanisma. See {Mechanic}.] 1. The arrangement or relation of the parts of a machine; the parts of a machine, taken collectively; the arrangement or relation of the parts of anything as adapted to produce an effect; as, the mechanism of a watch; the mechanism of a sewing machine; the mechanism of a seed pod. [1913 Webster]

2. The series of causal relations that operate to produce an effect in any system; as, the mechanism of a chemical reaction. [PJC]

3. Mechanical operation or action. [1913 Webster]

He acknowledges nothing besides matter and motion; so that all must be performed either by mechanism or accident. --Bentley. [1913 Webster]

4. (Kinematics) An ideal machine; a combination of movable bodies constituting a machine, but considered only with regard to relative movements. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Mechanism — • There is no constant meaning in the history of philosophy for the word Mechanism. Originally, the term meant that cosmological theory which ascribes the motion and changes of the world to some external force Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • mechanism — mech‧a‧nis‧m [ˈmekənɪzm] noun [countable] a system used to achieve something or deal with a problem: • The increased lending can be done through existing lending mechanisms. • There is a move to introduce free market mechanisms in the airline… …   Financial and business terms

  • Mechanism — may refer to: Mechanism (engineering), rigid bodies connected by joints in order to accomplish a desired force and/or motion transmission Mechanism (biology), explaining how a feature is created Mechanism (philosophy), a theory that all natural… …   Wikipedia

  • mechanism — [mek′ə niz΄əm] n. [ModL mechanismus < Gr mēchanē, MACHINE] 1. the working parts or arrangement of parts of a machine; works [the mechanism of a clock] 2. a) a system whose parts work together like those of a machine [the mechanism of the… …   English World dictionary

  • mechanism — [n1] machine, device apparatus, appliance, black box*, components, contrivance, doohickey*, gadget, gears, gimmick, innards, instrument, machinery, motor, structure, system, tool, workings, works; concept 463 mechanism [n2] means, method agency,… …   New thesaurus

  • mechanism — index appliance, contrivance, expedient, facility (instrumentality), forum (medium), instrument ( …   Law dictionary

  • mechanism — 1660s, from Mod.L. mechanismus, from Gk. mekhane machine, instrument (see MACHINE (Cf. machine) (n.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • mechanism — *machine, machinery, apparatus, engine, motor …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • mechanism — ► NOUN 1) a piece of machinery. 2) the way in which something works or is brought about …   English terms dictionary

  • mechanism — noun 1 part of a machine ADJECTIVE ▪ firing, locking, steering, trigger, winding VERB + MECHANISM ▪ activate ▪ This ac …   Collocations dictionary

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