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MECHANISM

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does mechanism mean? 

MECHANISM (noun)
  The noun MECHANISM has 5 senses:

1. the atomic process that occurs during a chemical reaction
2. the technical aspects of doing something
3. a natural object resembling a machine in structure or function
4. (philosophy) the philosophical theory that all phenomena can be explained in terms of physical or biological causes
5. device consisting of a piece of machinery; has moving parts that perform some function

  Familiarity information: MECHANISM used as a noun is common.


 Dictionary entry details 


MECHANISM (noun)


Sense 1mechanism [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The atomic process that occurs during a chemical reaction

Classified under:

Nouns denoting natural processes

Synonyms:

chemical mechanism; mechanism

Context example:

he determined unique mechanisms for the photochemical reactions

Hypernyms ("mechanism" is a kind of...):

chemical action; chemical change; chemical process ((chemistry) any process determined by the atomic and molecular composition and structure of the substances involved)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "mechanism"):

biochemical mechanism (a chemical mechanism involved in vital processes occurring in living organisms)


Sense 2mechanism [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The technical aspects of doing something

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions

Synonyms:

mechanics; mechanism

Context examples:

a mechanism of social control / mechanisms of communication / the mechanics of prose style

Hypernyms ("mechanism" is a kind of...):

carrying into action; carrying out; execution; performance (the act of performing; of doing something successfully; using knowledge as distinguished from merely possessing it)


Sense 3mechanism [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A natural object resembling a machine in structure or function

Classified under:

Nouns denoting natural objects (not man-made)

Context examples:

the mechanism of the ear / the mechanism of infection

Hypernyms ("mechanism" is a kind of...):

natural object (an object occurring naturally; not made by man)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "mechanism"):

barrier (anything serving to maintain separation by obstructing vision or access)

transmission mechanism (any mechanism whereby an infectious agent is spread from a reservoir to a human being)

biological clock (an innate mechanism in living organisms that controls the periodicity of many physiological functions)


Sense 4mechanism [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(philosophy) the philosophical theory that all phenomena can be explained in terms of physical or biological causes

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents

Hypernyms ("mechanism" is a kind of...):

philosophical doctrine; philosophical theory (a doctrine accepted by adherents to a philosophy)

Domain category:

philosophy (the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics)


Sense 5mechanism [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Device consisting of a piece of machinery; has moving parts that perform some function

Classified under:

Nouns denoting man-made objects

Hypernyms ("mechanism" is a kind of...):

device (an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "mechanism"):

action; action mechanism (the operating part that transmits power to a mechanism)

homing device (the mechanism in a guided missile that guides it toward its objective)

hydraulic system (a mechanism operated by the resistance offered or the pressure transmitted when a liquid is forced through a small opening or tube)

ignition; ignition system (the mechanism that ignites the fuel in an internal-combustion engine)

lock (a mechanism that detonates the charge of a gun)

mechanical device (mechanism consisting of a device that works on mechanical principles)

radiator (a mechanism consisting of a metal honeycomb through which hot fluids circulate; heat is transferred from the fluid through the honeycomb to the airstream that is created either by the motion of the vehicle or by a fan)

rotating mechanism (a mechanism that rotates)

steering linkage (mechanism consisting of a system of rods and levers connected to the front wheels of a motor vehicle; the steering gear pushes it left or right which swivels the front wheels, causing the vehicle to turn)

steering mechanism; steering system (a mechanism by which something is steered (especially a motor vehicle))

tape drive; tape transport; transport (a mechanism that transports magnetic tape across the read/write heads of a tape playback/recorder)

whirler (a revolving mechanism)

workings; works (the internal mechanism of a device)

gear; gear mechanism (a mechanism for transmitting motion for some specific purpose (as the steering gear of a vehicle))

film advance (a mechanism for advancing film in a camera or projector)

fail-safe (a mechanism capable of returning to a safe state in case there is a failure or malfunction)

actuator (a mechanism that puts something into automatic action)

automaton; golem; robot (a mechanism that can move automatically)

axis; axis of rotation (the center around which something rotates)

carriage (a machine part that carries something else)

cartridge ejector; ejector (a mechanism in a firearm that ejects the empty shell case after firing)

cartridge extractor; cartridge remover; extractor (a mechanism in a firearm that pulls an empty shell case out of the chamber and passes it to the ejector)

clockwork (any mechanism of geared wheels that is driven by a coiled spring; resembles the works of a mechanical clock)

drive line; drive line system (mechanism that transmits power from the engine to the driving wheels of a motor vehicle)

drive (a mechanism by which force or power is transmitted in a machine)

delayed action (a mechanism that automatically delays the release of a camera shutter for a fixed period of time so that the photographer can appear in the picture)

cooling; cooling system (a mechanism for keeping something cool)

control; controller (a mechanism that controls the operation of a machine)


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