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mechanism

mech·an·ism

mechanism

 
pronunciation:
me k nih zm
features:
Word Parts
part of speech: noun
definition 1: the structure, parts, or whole assemblage of a machine or mechanical system or device.
He carefully opened the old watch so that he could study the mechanism.The flintlock was a mechanism that solved many of the problems of firing a gun.
synonyms:
machine
similar words:
action, apparatus, device, instrument
definition 2: the operative or motive part, process, or factor that effects a result.
Enzyme action is the mechanism by which food is digested.
synonyms:
process
similar words:
action, apparatus, engine, factor, motor, operation
definition 3: automatic or habitual behavior or response, esp. elaborated patterns of self-protective thought and feeling.
Denial is a common defense mechanism.
synonyms:
reflex
similar words:
reaction, response
definition 4: the doctrine or theory that everything in the universe is the result of physical forces.
synonyms:
materialism
Word Parts
The word mechanism contains the following parts:
mech Greek root that means machine
-ism1 Greek noun-forming suffix that means act, process, state, practice, or instance of
Show wordsHide wordsMore about this word part:
The suffix -ism1 attaches to Greek roots to form nouns which usually have a corresponding verb ending in "-ize, -ise". See also -ism2.