English edit

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Etymology edit

Learned borrowing from New Latin mechanismus, from Ancient Greek μηχανή (mēkhanḗ, machine).

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈmɛk.ə.nɪ.zəm/, [ˈmɛk.ə.nɪ.zm̩]
    • (file)
  • (General Australian) IPA(key): /ˈmek.ə.nɪ.zəm/, [ˈmek.əˌnɪ.zm̩]

Noun edit

mechanism (countable and uncountable, 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, Henry Petroski, “Opening Doors”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 2, pages 112–3:
      A doorknob of whatever roundish shape is effectively a continuum of levers, with the axis of the latching mechanism—known as the spindle—being the fulcrum about which the turning takes place.
  3. A group of entities, such as objects, that interact together.
    • 2023 March 22, 'Industry Insider', “Restoring Your Railway”, in RAIL, number 979, page 68:
      Outside the boundaries of the PTEs [Passenger Transport Executives], there was little mechanism to re-open routes, and despite a growing realisation that the lack of transport connectivity was a big contributor towards social deprivation and poor economic performance, there was little government policy recognition.
  4. A mental, physical, or chemical process.
  5. Any process of, or system designed to manage useful energy conversion.
  6. (philosophy) The theory that all natural phenomena can be explained by physical causes.

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Descendants edit

  • Welsh: mecanism

Translations edit