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[uh-plahy-uh ns] /əˈplaɪ əns/
an instrument, apparatus, or device for a particular purpose or use.
a piece of equipment, usually operated electrically, especially for use in the home or for performance of domestic chores, as a refrigerator, washing machine, or toaster.
the act of applying; application.
Archaic. a measure; stratagem.
Obsolete, compliance.
verb (used with object), applianced, appliancing.
to equip with appliances:
a fully applianced kitchen.
Origin of appliance
1555-65; apply + -ance
Related forms
reappliance, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for appliance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Every appliance of resuscitation known to science was brought into use, but in vain.

    The Ordeal Charles Egbert Craddock
  • The appliance for lifting the bucket was of the most primitive type.

    Dwellers in the Hills Melville Davisson Post
  • This part of the appliance he carries, knapsack fashion, upon his back.

  • This required drills, fuse-powder, and all the appliance of the quarry.

    Shadows of Shasta Joaquin Miller
  • Now that you know the wattage of the appliance, multiply this figure by number of hours the equipment operates in one day.

  • So does every tool, appliance, and machine we use, and so do all the people with whom we interact.

  • The appliance is easily put together, and as easily taken apart.

    Getting Gold J. C. F. Johnson
British Dictionary definitions for appliance


a machine or device, esp an electrical one used domestically
any piece of equipment having a specific function
a device fitted to a machine or tool to adapt it for a specific purpose
another name for a fire engine
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for appliance

1560s, "action of putting into use," from apply + -ance. Meaning "instrument, thing applied for a purpose" is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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appliance in Medicine

appliance ap·pli·ance (ə-plī'əns)
A dental or surgical device designed to perform a therapeutic or corrective function.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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