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From Latin mechanismus, from Greek μηχανή ‎(mēkhanḗ, machine)



mechanism ‎(plural mechanisms)

  1. Within a machine or machinery; any mechanical means for the conversion or control of motion, or the transmission or control of power.
  2. Any combination of cams, gears, links, belts, chains and logical mechanical elements.
    • 2012 March 1, Henry Petroski, “Opening Doors”, American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 112-3: 
      A doorknob of whatever roundish shape is effectively a continuum of levers, with the axis of the latching mechanism—known as the spindle—being the fulcrum about which the turning takes place.
  3. A group of objects or parts that interact together. (as in Political machine)
  4. A mental, physical, or chemical process.
  5. (philosophy) A theory that all natural phenomena can be explained by physical causes.

Derived terms[edit]