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mech•an•ism



Pronunciation: (mek'u-niz"um), [key]
n.
1. an assembly of moving parts performing a complete functional motion, often being part of a large machine; linkage.
2. the agency or means by which an effect is produced or a purpose is accomplished.
3. machinery or mechanical appliances in general.
4. the structure or arrangement of parts of a machine or similar device, or of anything analogous.
5. the mechanical part of something; any mechanical device: the mechanism of a clock.
6. routine methods or procedures; mechanics: the mechanism of government.
7. mechanical execution, as in painting or music; technique.
8. the theory that everything in the universe is produced by matter in motion; materialism. Cf. dynamism (def. 1), vitalism (def. 1).
9. Philos.
a. the view that all natural processes are explicable in terms of Newtonian mechanics.
b. the view that all biological processes may be described in physicochemical terms.
10. Psychoanal.the habitual operation and interaction of psychological forces within an individual that assist in interpreting or dealing with the physical or psychological environment.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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