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Webster 1913 Edition


Mechanism

Mech′an-ism

,
Noun.
[Cf. F.
mécanisme
, 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.
3.
Mechanical operation or action.
He acknowledges nothing besides matter and motion; so that all must be performed either by
mechanism
or accident.
Bentley.
4.
(Kinematics)
An ideal machine; a combination of movable bodies constituting a machine, but considered only with regard to relative movements.

Webster 1828 Edition


Mechanism

MECH'ANISM

,
Noun.
The construction of a machine, engine or instrument, intended to apply power to a useful purpose; the structure of parts, or manner in which the parts of a machine are united to answer its design.
1.
Action of a machine, according to the laws of mechanics.

Definition 2021


mechanism

mechanism

English

Noun

mechanism (plural mechanisms)

  1. (within a machine or machinery) any mechanical means for the conversion or control of motion, or the transmission or control of power.
  2. Any combination of cams, gears, links, belts, chains and logical mechanical elements.
    • 2012 March 1, Henry Petroski, “Opening Doors”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 112-3:
      A doorknob of whatever roundish shape is effectively a continuum of levers, with the axis of the latching mechanismknown as the spindlebeing the fulcrum about which the turning takes place.
  3. A group of objects or parts that interact together. (as in Political machine)
  4. A mental, physical, or chemical process.
  5. (philosophy) A theory that all natural phenomena can be explained by physical causes.

Derived terms

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