Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to mechanic

mechanical (adj.)

early 15c., "of or pertaining to tools and their use," from mechanic (adj.) + -al (1). By 1570s as "of or pertaining to machines and their use." Of persons or human actions, "resembling machines, automatic, lacking spirit or spontaneity," from c. 1600. Scientific sense of "of or pertaining to the material forces of nature acting on inanimate bodies," from 1620s. Related: Mechanically. Mechanical-minded is recorded from 1820.

Advertisement
machine (n.)

1540s, "structure of any kind," from Middle French machine "device, contrivance," from Latin machina "machine, engine, military machine; device, trick; instrument" (source also of Spanish maquina, Italian macchina), from Greek makhana, Doric variant of Attic mēkhanē "device, tool, machine;" also "contrivance, cunning," traditionally (Watkins) from PIE *magh-ana- "that which enables," from root *magh- "to be able, have power." But Beekes, on formal grounds, objects to the connection to words in Germanic and Slavic. He finds the Greek word isolated and is convinced that it is Pre-Greek.

Main modern sense of "device made of moving parts for applying mechanical power" (1670s) probably grew out of mid-17c. senses of "apparatus, appliance" and "military siege-tower."  It gradually came to be applied to an apparatus that works without the strength or skill of the workman.

From 17c.-19c. also "a vehicle; a stage- or mail-coach; a ship," and, from 1901, "a motor-car." Also in late 19c. slang the word was used for both "penis" and "vagina," one of the few so honored.

The political sense "a strict organization of the working members of a political party to secure a predominating influence for themselves and their associates" is U.S. slang, attested by 1876. Machine age, a time notable for the extensive use of mechanical devices, is attested by 1882, though there is this:

The idea of remodelling society at public meetings is one of the least reasonable which ever entered the mind of an agitator: and the notion that the relations of the sexes can be re-arranged and finally disposed of by preamble and resolution, is one of the latest, as it should have been the last, vagary of a machine age. ["The Literary World," Nov. 1, 1851]

Machine for living(in) "house" translates Le Corbusier's machine à habiter (1923).

biomechanics (n.)
also bio-mechanics, "study of the action of forces on the body," 1931, from bio- + mechanic (also see -ics). Earlier (1924) it was a term in Russian theater, from Russian biomekhanika (1921).
*magh- 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to be able, have power." It forms all or part of: dismay; deus ex machina; may (v.1) "am able;" might (n.) "bodily strength, power;" main; machine; mechanic; mechanism; mechano-; mage; magi; magic.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit mahan "great;" Greek mēkhanē "device, means," mekhos, makhos "means, instrument;" Old Church Slavonic mošti, Russian moč' "can, be able;" Old English mæg "I can," Gothic mag "can, is able," Old High German magan, Old Norse magn "power, might."

mechanics (n.)

"the theory of machines," also, "the mathematical doctrine of the motions of particles and systems (especially rigid bodies) under the influence of force and constraints," 1640s, based on Late Latin mechanica, from Greek mekhanike, mekhanika (see mechanic (adj.)); also see -ics.

mechanize (v.)

"to render mechanical, bring into a mechanical state or condition," 1670s; see mechanic (adj.) + -ize. Related: Mechanized; mechanizing. Earlier was mechanicalize (1610s); in 19c., mechanicize also was tried.