vending machine

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A vending machine.


This name for such a machine is attested since the 1890s. The concept of such a machine is centuries older (for more, see Wikipedia at vending machine § History).


vending machine (plural vending machines)

  1. An automatic machine that dispenses merchandise (often food or beverages) in return for payment (originally coins; now also often paper money, credit cards, and wirelessly via digital payment apps).
    Hyponyms: coffee machine, soda machine
    Meronyms: bill acceptor, card swipe, change slot, coin return, coin slot, flavor strip
    • 1992 September 9, Trish Hall, “Vending Machines, the Next Generation in Dining”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      It is not clear to all operators of vending machines, though, that their future lies in dispensing meals, rather than snacks or candy.
    • 2023 July 26, Christian Wolmar, “Closing ticket offices to lead to 'catch-22' for passengers”, in RAL, number 988, page 42:
      Passengers may find themselves in a catch-22 situation, unable to buy a ticket for any number of reasons, ranging from an out-of-order ticket vending machine to a lengthy queue to use one, and yet then fall foul of the penalty fare regime.

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