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See also: apparátus



Borrowed from Latin apparātus.


  • IPA(key): /æ.pəˈɹæ.təs/, /æ.pəˈɹeɪ.təs/, /æpəˈɹɑːtəs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪtəs


apparatus (plural apparatuses or apparatus)

  1. The entirety of means whereby a specific production is made existent or task accomplished.
    • 2017 August 20, “The Observer view on the attacks in Spain”, in The Observer[1]:
      Many jihadist plots have been foiled and the security apparatus is getting better, overall, at pre-empting those who would do us ill. But, they say, the nature of the threat and the terrorists’ increasing use of low-tech, asymmetrical tactics such as hire vehicles and knives, make it all but impossible to stop every assault.
  2. A complex machine or instrument.
  3. An assortment of tools and instruments.
  4. A bureaucratic organization, especially one influenced by political patronage.
  5. (firefighting) A vehicle used for emergency response.
  6. (gymnastics) Any of the equipment on which the gymnasts perform their movements.

Usage notes[edit]

The word is occasionally used as an invariant plural, as in look at all of those apparatus, maintaining the Latin inflection in English on a loanword basis. But because the word also has a mass noun sense in English and it often appears in such a way that its number (singular or plural) is disguised by absence of any inflectional or lexical signals as to which of these two senses pertained in the mind of the writer, readers may parse it in either sense. Thus in the phrase he was dazzled by the electronic apparatus scattered throughout the room, either parsing works, and the reader cannot tell which one the writer had in mind, although that slight ambiguity is unimportant to the point being made.



Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.



Perfect passive participle of apparō (prepare).



apparātus m (feminine apparāta, neuter apparātum); first/second declension

  1. prepared, ready, having been prepared
  2. supplied, furnished, having been supplied
  3. magnificent, sumptuous, elaborate


First/second declension.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative apparātus apparāta apparātum apparātī apparātae apparāta
Genitive apparātī apparātae apparātī apparātōrum apparātārum apparātōrum
Dative apparātō apparātō apparātīs
Accusative apparātum apparātam apparātum apparātōs apparātās apparāta
Ablative apparātō apparātā apparātō apparātīs
Vocative apparāte apparāta apparātum apparātī apparātae apparāta


apparātus m (genitive apparātūs); fourth declension

  1. preparation, a getting ready
  2. A providing
  3. tools, implements, instruments, engines
  4. supplies, material
  5. magnificence, splendor, pomp
  6. vocative singular of apparātus

apparātūs m

  1. genitive singular of apparātus
  2. nominative plural of apparātus
  3. accusative plural of apparātus
  4. vocative plural of apparātus


Fourth declension.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative apparātus apparātūs
Genitive apparātūs apparātuum
Dative apparātuī apparātibus
Accusative apparātum apparātūs
Ablative apparātū apparātibus
Vocative apparātus apparātūs