AskDefine | Define mechanism

Dictionary Definition



1 the atomic process that occurs during a chemical reaction; "he determined unique mechanisms for the photochemical reactions" [syn: chemical mechanism]
2 the technical aspects of doing something; "a mechanism of social control"; "mechanisms of communication"; "the mechanics of prose style" [syn: mechanics]
3 a natural object resembling a machine in structure or function; "the mechanism of the ear"; "the mechanism of infection"
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

User Contributed Dictionary



From mechanismus < Greek mekhane, "machine"


  • /ˈmɛkənɪzm/, /"mEk@nIzm/


  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. A theory that all natural phenomena can be explained by physical causes.


  • Croatian: mehanizam
  • French: mechanismus
  • German: Mechanismus

Extensive Definition

Mechanism may refer to:

See also

mechanism in Catalan: Mecanisme
mechanism in German: Mechanismus
mechanism in Spanish: Mecanismo (desambiguación)
mechanism in Persian: سازوکار
mechanism in French: Mécanisme
mechanism in Russian: Механизм

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Charlie McCarthy, Marxism, action, agency, agent, ancilla, animalism, apparatus, appliance, approach, arrangement, art, atomism, automatic switch, behaviorism, channel selector, check valve, clockworks, commonsense realism, contour follower, contrivance, control valve, convenience, craft, creature, device, dialectical materialism, drive, drive train, dummy, dupe, earthliness, electronic control, emergency control, empiricism, engine, enginery, epiphenomenalism, expedient, facility, finder switch, fixture, flowmanostat, gear, go-between, going between, handmaid, handmaiden, historical materialism, hylomorphism, hylotheism, hylozoism, implement, innards, instrument, instrumentality, interagent, intermediary, intermediate, intermediation, intermedium, internal selector, lever, machine, machinery, materialism, means, mechanical aid, mechanical device, mechanics, mediation, mediator, medium, method, midwife, minion, monism, motion, motive power, motor, movement, movements, natural realism, naturalism, new realism, organ, organization, pawn, physicalism, physicism, plaything, positive philosophy, positivism, power plant, power source, power train, pragmaticism, pragmatism, procedure, process, puppet, realism, recourse, rectifier, register regulator, representative realism, resort, safety control, safety fuse, safety stop, safety switch, safety valve, science, secularism, selector switch, sequence switch, servant, service, servo valve, servomechanism, skill, slave, stooge, structure, substantialism, system, technic, technical know-how, technical knowledge, technical skill, technics, technique, technology, temporality, thermoswitch, timer, tool, toy, utility, vehicle, voltage regulator, voltage stabilizer, watchworks, way, wheels, wheels within wheels, workings, works, worldliness
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