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From Middle English mechanike (mechanic art), 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.




  1. (archaic) mechanical; relating to the laws of motion in the art of constructing things
    • Ray
      These mechanic philosophers.
    • Shakespeare
      Mechanic slaves, With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers.
  2. (obsolete) Of or relating to a mechanic or artificer, or to the class of artisans; hence, rude; common; vulgar.
    • Roscommon
      To make a god, a hero, or a king / Descend to a mechanic dialect.
    • Thomson
      Sometimes he ply'd the strong, mechanic tool.
  3. (obsolete) base
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Whitlock to this entry?)


mechanic (plural mechanics)

  1. A skilled worker capable of building or repairing machinery. A mechanic can be compared to a technician, the distinction being that the technician is stronger in theory, the mechanic stronger in hands-on experience.
  2. A hit man. (Popularized by the 1972 film The Mechanic.)
  3. (gaming) A device, command, or feature which allows the player to perform a specific task within a game.
    This game has a mechanic where if you run toward a ledge you automatically jump off rather than just falling.

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