ma·chin·er·y (mə-shēnə-rē, -shēnrē)
n. pl. ma·chin·er·ies
1. Machines or machine parts considered as a group.
2. The working parts of a particular machine.
3. A system of related elements that operate in a definable manner: diplomatic and political machinery.
a. A device or means of achieving or effecting a result.
b. A literary device for bringing about an effect, such as a happy ending.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.