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See also: Mechanic
- mechanick (obsolete)
From Middle English mekanyk (“mechanical”), from Old French mecanique, from Latin mechanicus (“of or belonging to machines or mechanics, inventive”), from Ancient Greek μηχανικός (mēkhanikós, “pertaining to machines or contrivance, mechanic, ingenious, inventive”), from μηχανή (mēkhanḗ, “a machine, contrivance”); see machine.
- (Received Pronunciation, General American) IPA(key): /məˈkænɪk/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ænɪk
- Hyphenation: me‧chan‧ic
- (archaic) mechanical; relating to the laws of motion in the art of constructing things
- c. 1606–1607, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene ii]:
- Mechanic slaves, With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers.
- (obsolete) Of or relating to a mechanic or artificer, or to the class of artisans; hence, rude; common; vulgar; base.
- 1654, Richard Whitlock, Zootomia; Or, Observations on the Present Manners of the English:
- Authors both Sacred and Profane we see complain of the Level of Learning, with Mechanick Ignorance: [...]
- 1680, Horace, Earl of Roscommon [i.e., Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon], transl., Horace’s Art of Poetry. […], London: […] Henry Herringman […], →OCLC, page 17:
- But then they did not wrong themſelves ſo much, / To make a God, a Hero, or a King, / (Stripp'd of his golden Crown and purple Robe) / Deſcend to a Mechanick Dialect, / Nor (to avoid ſuch meanneſs) ſoaring high / With empty ſound, and aiery notions fly; [...]
- 1748, James Thomson, “Canto II”, in The Castle of Indolence: […], London: […] A[ndrew] Millar, […], →OCLC, stanza XII, page 47:
- Sometimes he ply'd the ſtrong mechanic Tool, / Or rear'd the Fabrick from the fineſt Draught; [...]
mechanic (plural mechanics)
- (now chiefly historical) A manual worker; a labourer or artisan. [from 16th c.]
- 1852 March – 1853 September, Charles Dickens, Bleak House, London: Bradbury and Evans, […], published 1853, →OCLC:
- His noble earnestness, his fidelity, his gallant shielding of her, his generous conquest of his own wrong and his own pride for her sake, are simply honourable, manly, and true. Nothing less worthy can be seen through the lustre of such qualities in the commonest mechanic, nothing less worthy can be seen in the best-born gentleman.
- 1972, Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down, Folio Society, published 2016, page 77:
- The lower orders were freer than they had ever been – free […] to choose their own lay preachers, mechanics like the rest of the congregation.
- Someone who builds or repairs machinery, a technician; now specifically, someone who works with and repairs the mechanical parts of a motor vehicle, aircraft or similar. [from 17th c.]
- A device, command, or feature which allows someone to achieve a specific task. [from 20th c.]
- This game has a mechanic where if you run toward a ledge you automatically jump off rather than just falling.
- (slang) A hitman. [from 20th c.]
- 1976, Newton Thornburg, Cutter and Bone, Little, Brown, →ISBN, page 250:
- And from then on, his bag was silence. Silence and killing. Overnight he became the best grunt we had, a real killer, a mechanic.
- (gambling) A cheat who manipulates the cards or dice.
- Hyponyms: card mechanic, dice mechanic
- 1995, Nicholas Pileggi; Martin Scorsese, Casino, spoken by Ace (Robert De Niro):
- It was so obvious. I mean, all of Nicky's half-assed mechanics, they were real signal happy.
skilled worker on machinery
- “mechanic”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
- Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “mechanic”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
- “mechanic”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- Jonathon Green (2023), “mechanic n.”, in Green's Dictionary of Slang
- Eric Partridge (2005), “mechanic”, in Tom Dalzell and Terry Victor, editors, The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, volume 2 (J–Z), London; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, →ISBN, page 1281.
- Alternative form of mekanyk
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