machine - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  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.

  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’.

    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.