Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable] machine pronunciation in British English /məˈʃiːn/ 
Word Forms
  1. 1
    a piece of equipment that does a particular job by using electricity, steam, gas etc

    Sue showed him how to operate the machine.

    by machine:

    These companies do everything by machine these days.

    1. a.
      a computer

      Put the disk in your machine and click on the 'A' drive.

      Users will be able to upgrade their machines as necessary.

    2. b.
      an answering machine

      There's a message on the machine for you.

    3. c.
      a washing machine

      Is it okay to put this shirt in the machine?

    4. d.
      a vending machine

      You can get a cup of coffee out of the machine.

    5. e.
      a cash machine

      He said the machine had swallowed his card.

  2. 2
    a person or animal that does something very effectively
    a fighting/killing machine:

    The lion is an efficient killing machine.

    a well-oiled machine (=a group or system that works well and easily):

    The team is a well-oiled machine right now.

    1. a.
      someone who works so hard at a particular activity that they have no time for other activities or for thoughts and feelings

      By the end of the evening I felt like a cooking machine.

  3. 3
    the people and things that are used for achieving a particular aim

    the British war machine

    a money/propaganda machine:

    He criticized those who had turned politics into a 'money machine'.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of machine
    1. a.
      an organized system of people with power, especially in politics
      the government/party machine:

      The government machine moved swiftly to deny the allegations.

  4. 4
    informal a vehicle, especially a motorcycle

    That's a mean machine (=a beautiful vehicle) you've got there.



web content which is specifically intended to make Facebook users click the 'Like' button associated with it

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the possibility of Greece leaving the Eurozone …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog