See also: apparatûs and apparátus



Borrowed from Latin apparātus. Doublet of apparat.



apparatus (plural apparatuses or apparatusses or apparatus or (rare) apparatûs or (hypercorrect) apparati)

  1. The entirety of means whereby a specific production is made existent or task accomplished.
    • 2017 August 20, “The Observer view on the attacks in Spain”, in The Observer[1]:
      Many jihadist plots have been foiled and the security apparatus is getting better, overall, at pre-empting those who would do us ill. But, they say, the nature of the threat and the terrorists’ increasing use of low-tech, asymmetrical tactics such as hire vehicles and knives, make it all but impossible to stop every assault.
    Synonyms: dynamic, mechanism, setup
  2. A complex machine or instrument.
    Synonyms: device, instrument, machinery
  3. An assortment of tools and instruments.
    • 1786, John Jeffries; Jean-Pierre Blanchard, A narrative of the two aerial Voyages of Dr. J. with Mons. Blanchard: with meteorological observations and remarks.[2], page 45:
      We immediately threw out all the little things we had with us, ſuch as biſcuits, apples, &c. and after that one of our oars or wings; but ſtill deſcending, we caſt away the other wing, and then the governail ; having likewiſe had the precaution, for fear of accidents, while the Balloon was filling, partly to looſen and make it go eaſy, I now ſucceeded in attempting to reach without the Car, and unſcrewing the moulinet, with all its apparatus; I likewiſe caſt that into the ſea.
    Synonyms: tools, gear, equipment
  4. A bureaucratic organization, especially one influenced by political patronage.
    Synonym: machine
  5. (firefighting) A vehicle used for emergency response.
  6. (gymnastics) Any of the equipment on which the gymnasts perform their movements.
    Hyponyms: parallel bars, uneven bars, vault, floor, pommel horse, rings aka still rings, horizontal bar aka high bar, balance beam
  7. (video games) A complex, highly modified weapon (typically not a firearm); a weaponizedRube Goldberg machine.”
    Hyponyms: windlass crossbow, compound bow, complex trap

Usage notesEdit

The word is occasionally used as an invariant plural, as in look at all of those apparatus, maintaining the Latin inflection in English on a loanword basis. But because the word also has a mass noun sense in English and it often appears in such a way that its number (singular or plural) is disguised by absence of any inflectional or lexical signals as to which of these two senses pertained in the mind of the writer, readers may parse it in either sense. Thus in the phrase he was dazzled by the electronic apparatus scattered throughout the room, either parsing works, and the reader cannot tell which one the writer had in mind, although that slight ambiguity is unimportant to the point being made.

Related termsEdit

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.



Perfect passive participle of apparō (prepare).



apparātus (feminine apparāta, neuter apparātum, comparative apparātior, superlative apparātissimus); first/second-declension participle

  1. prepared, ready, having been prepared
  2. supplied, furnished, having been supplied
  3. magnificent, sumptuous, elaborate


First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative apparātus apparāta apparātum apparātī apparātae apparāta
Genitive apparātī apparātae apparātī apparātōrum apparātārum apparātōrum
Dative apparātō apparātō apparātīs
Accusative apparātum apparātam apparātum apparātōs apparātās apparāta
Ablative apparātō apparātā apparātō apparātīs
Vocative apparāte apparāta apparātum apparātī apparātae apparāta


apparātus m (genitive apparātūs); fourth declension

  1. preparation, a getting ready
  2. A providing
  3. tools, implements, instruments, engines
  4. supplies, material
  5. magnificence, splendor, pomp
    Synonym: magnificentia


Fourth-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative apparātus apparātūs
Genitive apparātūs apparātuum
Dative apparātuī apparātibus
Accusative apparātum apparātūs
Ablative apparātū apparātibus
Vocative apparātus apparātūs


  • Catalan: aparat
  • English: apparatus
  • French: apparat
  • Galician: aparato
  • German: Apparat


  • apparatus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • apparatus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • apparatus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • apparatus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[3], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to entertain, regale a person: accipere aliquem (bene, copiose, laute, eleganter, regio apparatu, apparatis epulis)
    • preparations for war; war-material: apparatus (rare in plur.) belli
  • apparatus in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[4], pre-publication website, 2005-2016