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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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