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The word mechanism and its family (mechanisms) are included in the Academic Word List by Dr. Averil Coxhead, which contains the 570 most frequent word families used in academic texts from a variety of subject areas, of interest for students that learn the words most needed to study at tertiary institutions.

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Definition of the noun mechanism

What does mechanism mean as a name of something?

Mechanism is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: mechanisms

  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
    • examples: the mechanism of the ear | the mechanism of infection
    • lexical domain: Natural Objects - nouns denoting natural objects (not man-made)
    • more generic term: natural object = an object occurring naturally
    • more specific terms:
      • 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
  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
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • more generic word: device = an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose
    • more specific terms:
      • action mechanism / action = the operating part that transmits power to a mechanism
      • actuator = a mechanism that puts something into automatic action
      • automaton / golem / robot = a mechanism that can move automatically
      • axis of rotation / axis = 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
      • controller / control = a mechanism that controls the operation of a machine
      • cooling system / cooling = a mechanism for keeping something cool
      • 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
      • drive = a mechanism by which force or power is transmitted in a machine
      • drive line system / drive line = mechanism that transmits power from the engine to the driving wheels of a motor vehicle
      • fail-safe = a mechanism capable of returning to a safe state in case there is a failure or malfunction
      • film advance = a mechanism for advancing film in a camera or projector
      • gear mechanism / gear = a mechanism for transmitting motion for some specific purpose
      • 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 system / ignition = 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
      • 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
      • steering mechanism / steering system = a mechanism by which something is steered
      • tape transport / tape drive / 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

Alternative definition of the noun mechanism


  1. Within a machine or machinery; any mechanical means for the conversion or control of motion, or the transmission or control of power
  2. Any combination of cams, gears, links, belts, chains and logical mechanical elements
  3. A group of objects or parts that interact together. (as in Political machine)
  4. A mental, physical or chemical process.
  5. [philosophy] A theory that all natural phenomena can be explained by physical causes.


Mechanism is a death metal band from Canada. Their debut album is called Inspired Horrific and combines death metal with progressive.

  • also known as Mechanisn
  • album: "Inspired Horrific"


  1. "Mechanism" is a musical EP of Tactic Tech.
    • released on (4 years ago)
  2. "Mechanism" is a musical album of Tallman.
  3. "Mechanism" is a composition.


  1. "Mechanism" is a book by Robert McArdle Keown.
  2. "Mechanism" is a book by Stanley Dunkerley.

Phrases with Mechanism

  1. gear mechanism
  2. action mechanism
  3. escape mechanism
  4. firing mechanism
  5. Geneva Mechanism
  6. control mechanism
  7. defence mechanism
  8. defense mechanism
  9. chemical mechanism
  10. Reaction mechanism
  11. rotating mechanism
  12. steering mechanism
  13. biochemical mechanism
  14. transmission mechanism

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Mechanism

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewScramjet Propulsion (2001)

by E. T. Curran

A detailed reaction mechanism is a verified and validated comprehensive kinetic mechanism that contains sufficient detail to reproduce a wide range of observed trends. A skeleton reaction mechanism is a subset of a detailed kinetic ...

Google previewCancer Disparities (2011)

Causes and Evidence-Based Solutions by Holly Matto, PhD, Jessica Strolin-Goltzman, PhD, Michelle Ballan, PhD, Ronit Elk, Ph.D., Hope Landrine, Ph.D., American Cancer Society

A second mechanism is the significantly higher availability of tobacco in inner-city neighborhoods, that is, the greater number and density of convenience stores and tobacco shops, both strongly associated with increased tobacco use ( Chuang ...

Google previewInstant Notes in Organic Chemistry (2012)

by Graham Patrick

A positive charge on oxygen is not very stable and so the second stage in the mechanism is the loss of a proton. Both electrons in the O–H bond move onto the oxygen to restore a second lone pair of electrons and thus neutralize the charge.

Google previewDistributed Multimedia Information Retrieval (2004)

SIGIR 2003 Workshop on Distributed Information Retrieval, Toronto, Canada, August 1, 2003, Revised Selected and Invited Papers by Jamie Callan, Fabio Crestani, Mark Sanderson

Protocol: The second mechanism is the Apoidea protocol, including the partitioning of the web crawling jobs and the lookup algorithm. In Apoidea every peer participates in the process of crawling the Web, and any peer can post a new URL to ...

Google previewThe Pious Sinner (1991)

Ethics and Aesthetics in the Medieval Hasidic Narrative by Tamar Alexander-Frizer

One balancing mechanism is the placement of the tale. This tale about love of God is located in Book of the Fear of Cod, where love without awe and fear is rejected. The reader's approbation of the herdsman's expression of love for God is ...

Google previewHandbook of Crystal Growth (2014)

Fundamentals by Tatau Nishinaga

The mechanism is that the dissolved ionic species build up an electric double layer adjacent to the electrode surface. The double layer is then disrupted due to the presence of charged colloidal particles, giving rise to a spatially varying free ...

Google previewTest Policy and Test Performance: Education, Language, and Culture (2012)

by Bernard R. Gifford

A third mechanism is the public reporting of information about test performance— testing for public accountability. Examples include annual publication in local newspapers of achievement score averages for area schools, or the secretary of ...

Google previewDocuments from F. Taylor Ostrander at Oxford, John R. Commons' Reasonable Value, and Clarence E. Ayres' Last Course (2008)

by Warren J. Samuels, F. Taylor Ostrander, Clarence Edwin Ayres

A mechanism is a device through which one kind of energy is changed into another kind of energy.

Such a mechanism is the outcome of mental and physical experiments, and it is also by means of such experiments and machines that we ...

Google previewNext Generation Microchannel Heat Exchangers (2012)

by Michael M. Ohadi, Kyosung Choo, Serguei Dessiatoun, Edvin Cetegen

The first mechanism is the heat transfer through the incoming and outgoing fluid streams in the neighboring inlet and outlet feed channels. Here, a temperature gradient forms due to the temperature difference in the fluid streams, where fluid ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Literature and Science (2002)

by Pamela Gossin

Joseph Duemer Mechanism. The philosophical system explaining natural processes using metaphors drawn from machines. Mechanism eliminates the spiritual properties associated with organicism or vitalism, leaving a lawful, structured ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Spectroscopy and Spectrometry (2010)

The second mechanism, proposed by Iribarne and Thomson in 1976, assumes that the electric field at the surface of the progeny droplets produced by the last fission process reaches a critical value at which ionic analytes start to 'evaporate' ...

Google previewGreen's Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine and Surgery (1907)

If the child is too big, the effect on labour is the same as if the pelvis were generally contracted; if the child is below the average size, it may come through a contracted pelvis without difficulty or altered mechanism. In considering the slighter ...

Google previewThe Multilingual Lexicon (2007)

by Jasone Cenoz, Britta Hufeisen, U. Jessner

MECHANISM. IN. L3. VOCABULARY. ACQUISITION. 1. INTRODUCTION The human capacity to categorise new information on the basis of similarity with existing knowledge representations is, perhaps, the most important organising principle ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of E-Commerce Development, Implementation, and Management (2016)

by Lee, In

Frequently Asked Questions MechanismMechanism to Save Product/ Service for Future Purchase • Responses for Individual Questions • Accessible Product Literature and News Reports • Product/Service Variety • Product/Service Meeting ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Environment and Conservation (2013)

by Chris Park, Michael Allaby

Kyoto mechanism KYOTO PROTOCOL An international agreement that sets limits on the *emission of *greenhouse gases into the *atmosphere, in order to reduce the threat of *global warming by *air pollution. It was drawn up under the ...

Google previewDictionary of Military Terms (2009)

by U.S. Department of Defense

safety and arming mechanism — (*) A dual function ...

Google previewInternational Dictionary of Insurance and Finance (2014)

by John Clark

European Exchange Rate Mechanism See Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Trade association, established in 1960 between several west European countries, some of whom left when they joined ...

Google previewThe Railway Signal Dictionary (1912)

An Illustrated Vocabulary of Terms which Designate American Railway Signals, Their Parts, Attachments and Details of Construction, with Descriptions of Methods of Operation and Some Illustrations of British Signals and Practice by Railway Signal Association, Braman Blanchard Adams, Rodney Hitt, Arthur David Cloud, Harold Hoyt Simmons

not only prevents the Jar to the blade when It reaches the horizontal position, but also drives out the accumulated dead air from the case, keeping the mechanism dry and free from moisture. This signal will operate in two or three positions and ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Mechanism

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Photos about Mechanism

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of close view of a vintage beautiful watch mechanismSmall photo of Cogwheel mechanism in hand. Mixed mediaSmall photo of View of the gear from the old mechanism.,rusty mechanism in the old clockSmall photo of Detail of a mechanism with various metal gearsSmall photo of Obsolete mechanism. Rusted mechanism. Complex mechanism.Small photo of gold watch mechanism.Small photo of steel gears of the old mechanical clock mechanism on black background More...

Video language resources about Mechanism

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View more videos about Geneva mechanism, Defense Mechanism, and Reaction mechanism.

See also the pronunciation examples of Mechanism!

Quotes about Mechanism

The purpose of the UN mechanism, this inspection mechanism, is not to engage in a cat and mouse game with Saddam Hussein and try to find weapons that the Iraqi government is working on concealing. (Douglas Feith)
more quotes about mechanism...

Scrabble value of M3E1C3H4A1N1I1S1M3

The value of this 9-letter word is 18 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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