• Mechanical

    Pronunciation

    • UK IPA: /mɪˈkanɪk(ə)l/
    • US IPA: /məˈkæ.nə.kəl/

    Origin

    From Latin mēchanicus + -al.

    Full definition of mechanical

    Adjective

    mechanical

    1. (now rare) Characteristic of someone who does manual labour for a living; coarse, vulgar.
      • 1603, John Florio, trans. Michel de Montaigne, Essays, I.43:all manner of silks were already become so vile and abject, that was any man seene to weare them, he was presently judged to be some countrie fellow, or mechanicall man.
    2. Related to mechanics (the branch of physics that deals with forces acting on mass).
      mechanical engineering
    3. Related to mechanics (the design and construction of machines).
      mechanical dictionary
    4. Done by machine.
      mechanical task
    5. Using mechanics (the design and construction of machines): being a machine.
      mechanical arm
    6. As if performed by a machine: lifeless or mindless.
      a mechanical reply to a question
    7. (of a person) Acting as if one were a machine: lifeless or mindless.
      • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, The Mirror and the Lamp Chapter 15, Edward Churchill still attended to his work in a hopeless mechanical manner like a sleep-walker who walks safely on a well-known round. But his Roman collar galled him, his cossack stifled him, his biretta was as uncomfortable as a merry-andrew's cap and bells.
    8. The pianist was too mechanical.
    9. (informal) Handy with machines.
      Why don't you ask Joe to fix it? He's very mechanical.

    Related terms

    Terms etymologically related to mechanical
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