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[muh-shee-nuh-ree] /məˈʃi nə ri/
noun, plural machineries.
an assemblage of machines or mechanical apparatuses:
the machinery of a factory.
the parts of a machine, collectively:
the machinery of a watch.
a group of people or a system by which action is maintained or by which some result is obtained:
the machinery of government.
a group of contrivances for producing stage effects.
the group or aggregate of literary machines, especially those of supernatural agency (epic machinery) in an epic poem.
Origin of machinery
1680-90; machine + -ery
Related forms
antimachinery, adjective
3. organization, structure, setup. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for machinery
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This machinery was quickened and rendered effective by the new motor.

    The Evolution of Modern Capitalism John Atkinson Hobson
  • As yet the use of machinery and artificial manure is almost unknown.

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • And Camons, as observed in the preface, has twice asserted that his machinery is allegorical.

    The Lusiad Lus de Cames
  • It always seemed to me as though she were stuffed, and as though she moved by machinery.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Go ahead, Bob, and get something ready while Ned and I take a look around the machinery and see if its working all right.

British Dictionary definitions for machinery


noun (pl) -eries
machines, machine parts, or machine systems collectively
a particular machine system or set of machines
a system similar to a machine: the machinery of government
literary devices used for effect in epic poetry
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 machinery

1680s; from machine (n.) + -ery. Originally theatrical, "devices for creating stage effects" (which also was a sense of Greek mekhane); meaning "machines collectively" is attested from 1731. Middle English had machinament "a contrivance" (early 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for machinery



  1. A drug user's paraphernalia; artillery (1940s+ Narcotics)
  2. The male genitals: You could see the bulge of his machinery there at the crotch (1980s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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