Device vs. Machine: What's the Difference?
An apparatus designed for a specific purpose. Equipment with moving parts, designed to perform a particular task.
A device is typically an object, gadget, or piece of equipment created with a specific function in mind. The term "device" can refer to something as simple as a tool or as complex as a mobile phone. On the other hand, a machine is generally understood to be a piece of equipment with moving parts used to perform a particular task, often involving converting energy from one form to another.
The term "device" embodies a broader range of objects and doesn’t necessarily incorporate moving parts. This contrasts with a machine, which by definition includes moving parts and mechanisms that perform a certain action, typically transforming energy or performing mechanical work.
Devices often, but not always, rely on electronic components to function, a commonality found in our everyday gadgets like smartphones and tablets. Machines, conversely, might operate through mechanical means, employing gears, belts, engines, or similar apparatuses to execute their designated task.
While a device might be a part of a machine, aiding in its function (e.g., a thermostat in an air conditioner), a machine typically denotes a larger, often more complex assembly of parts working together in a coordinated manner.
Devices usually integrate into our lives by providing solutions to specific problems or enhancing capabilities (e.g., a calculator for rapid arithmetic). In contrast, machines often take on laborious tasks, automating processes, or amplifying physical efforts and abilities.
A tool with a specific use.
An apparatus with moving parts that performs a task.
Can be simple or complex.
Typically involves moving parts.
May not require moving parts.
Requires moving parts for functionality.
Not necessarily involved.
Often involves energy conversion.
Car, washing machine.
Device and Machine Definitions
A tool made for a particular use.
The surgeon used a specialized device to perform the operation.
A device consisting of fixed and moving parts that redirects mechanical energy to accomplish a particular task or set of tasks.
A piece of equipment that performs a specific function.
She bought a new cooking device for her kitchen.
See simple machine.
A mechanism designed to serve a special purpose or perform a special task.
The scientist developed a device for measuring air pressure.
See compound machine.
An object or machine which performs a specific action.
The device beeps when the door is opened.
A system or device for doing work, as an automobile or jackhammer, together with its power source and auxiliary equipment.
An object designed and manufactured to perform one or more functions.
A system or device, such as a computer, that performs or assists in the performance of a human task
The machine is down.
A graphic symbol or motto, especially in heraldry.
An intricate natural system or organism, such as the human body.
A literary contrivance, such as parallelism or personification, used to achieve a particular effect.
A person who acts in a rigid, mechanical, or unconscious manner.
A decorative design, figure, or pattern, as one used in embroidery.
An organized group of people whose members are or appear to be under the control of one or more leaders
A political machine.
A plan or scheme for accomplishing something
“Now Lydgate might have called at the warehouse, or might have written a message on a leaf of his pocket-book and left it at the door. Yet these simple devices apparently did not occur to him” (George Eliot).
A device used to produce a stage effect, especially a mechanical means of lowering an actor onto the stage.
Any piece of equipment made for a particular purpose, especially a mechanical or electrical one.
A literary device used to produce an effect, especially the introduction of a supernatural being to resolve a plot.
(computer hardware) A peripheral device; an item of hardware.
An answering machine
Leave a message on my machine if I'm not home.
A project or scheme, often designed to deceive; a stratagem; an artifice.
Of, relating to, or felt to resemble a machine
(Ireland) An improvised explosive device, home-made bomb
To cut, shape, or finish by machine.
(rhetoric) A technique that an author or speaker uses to evoke an emotional response in the audience; a rhetorical device.
To be cut, shaped, or finished by machine
This metal machines easily.
(heraldry) A motto, emblem, or other mark used to distinguish the bearer from others. A device differs from a badge or cognizance primarily as it is a personal distinction, and not a badge borne by members of the same house successively.
A device that directs and controls energy, often in the form of movement or electricity, to produce a certain effect.
(archaic) Power of devising; invention; contrivance.
(dated) A vehicle operated mechanically, such as an automobile or an airplane.
(legal) An image used in whole or in part as a trademark or service mark.
An answering machine or, by extension, voice mail.
I called you earlier, but all I got was the machine.
(printing) An image or logo denoting official or proprietary authority or provenience.
(computing) A computer.
Game developers assume they're pushing the limits of the machine.
He refuses to turn off his Linux machine.
(obsolete) A spectacle or show.
(figuratively) A person or organisation that seemingly acts like a machine, being particularly efficient, single-minded, or unemotional.
Bruce Campbell was a "demon-killing machine" because he made quick work of killing demons.
The government has become a money-making machine.
(obsolete) Opinion; decision.
Especially, the group that controls a political or similar organization; a combination of persons acting together for a common purpose, with the agencies which they use.
That which is devised, or formed by design; a contrivance; an invention; a project; a scheme; often, a scheme to deceive; a stratagem; an artifice.
His device in against Babylon, to destroy it.
Their recent device of demanding benevolences.
He disappointeth the devices of the crafty.
(poetry) Supernatural agency in a poem, or a superhuman being introduced to perform some exploit.
Power of devising; invention; contrivance.
I must have instruments of my own device.
The system of special interest groups that supports a political party, especially in urban areas.
An emblematic design, generally consisting of one or more figures with a motto, used apart from heraldic bearings to denote the historical situation, the ambition, or the desire of the person adopting it. See Cognizance.
Knights-errant used to distinguish themselves by devices on their shields.
A banner with this strange device -Excelsior.
Anything fancifully conceived.
(historical) A contrivance in the Ancient Greek theatre for indicating a change of scene, by means of which a god might cross the stage or deliver a divine message; the deus ex machina.
A spectacle or show.
(obsolete) A bathing machine.
To make by machinery.
Any artifactual object designed to perform an action or process, with or without an operator in attendance.
To shape or finish by machinery; (usually, more specifically) to shape subtractively by metal-cutting with machine-controlled toolpaths.
An instrumentality invented for a particular purpose;
The device is small enough to wear on your wrist
A device intended to conserve water
In general, any combination of bodies so connected that their relative motions are constrained, and by means of which force and motion may be transmitted and modified, as a screw and its nut, or a lever arranged to turn about a fulcrum or a pulley about its pivot, etc.; especially, a construction, more or less complex, consisting of a combination of moving parts, or simple mechanical elements, as wheels, levers, cams, etc., with their supports and connecting framework, calculated to constitute a prime mover, or to receive force and motion from a prime mover or from another machine, and transmit, modify, and apply them to the production of some desired mechanical effect or work, as weaving by a loom, or the excitation of electricity by an electrical machine.
Something in an artistic work designed to achieve a particular effect
Any mechanical contrivance, as the wooden horse with which the Greeks entered Troy; a coach; a bicycle.
Any clever (deceptive) maneuver;
He would stoop to any device to win a point
A person who acts mechanically or at the will of another.
Any ornamental pattern or design (as in embroidery)
A combination of persons acting together for a common purpose, with the agencies which they use; as, the social machine.
The whole machine of government ought not to bear upon the people with a weight so heavy and oppressive.
An emblematic design (especially in heraldry);
He was recognized by the device on his shield
A political organization arranged and controlled by one or more leaders for selfish, private or partisan ends; the Tammany machine.
An invention or contraption created to fulfill a particular need.
The spy used a hidden recording device during the meeting.
Supernatural agency in a poem, or a superhuman being introduced to perform some exploit.
To subject to the action of machinery; to make, cut, shape, or modify with a machine; to effect by aid of machinery; to print with a printing machine.
Any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks
An intricate organization that accomplishes its goals efficiently;
The war machine
An efficient person;
The boxer was a magnificent fighting machine
4-wheeled motor vehicle; usually propelled by an internal combustion engine;
He needs a car to get to work
A group that controls the activities of a political party;
He was endorsed by the Democratic machine
A device for overcoming resistance at one point by applying force at some other point
Turn, shape, mold, or otherwise finish by machinery
Make by machinery;
The Americans were machining while others still hand-made cars
An apparatus using or applying mechanical power and having several parts, each with a definite function.
The machine automatically sorts the items based on size.
A device with moving parts that is designed to accomplish a particular task.
The sewing machine made the work of tailors significantly easier.
An organized group of coordinated parts that operate in unison to perform a task.
The vending machine dispensed a snack after I inserted the money.
A piece of equipment with moving parts that converts power into motion.
The engine is a powerful machine used in various vehicles.
An assembly of interconnected components arranged to transmit or modify force to perform useful work.
The complex machine helped automate the manufacturing process.
What is a device?
A device is an object or tool designed to perform a specific function or task.
Do all devices have electronic components?
No, devices can be mechanical, electronic, or a combination thereof.
Are devices always small in size?
Not necessarily; devices can range from tiny to large, depending on their purpose.
Is a smartphone a device?
Yes, a smartphone is considered a device.
Can a device be a part of a machine?
Yes, devices can be components within machines to aid their functionality.
Can a device function independently?
Yes, devices can operate independently or as part of larger systems.
Can a device contain a machine?
While uncommon, some complex devices might contain smaller machines.
Can a machine exist within a device?
It's plausible, especially in complex devices where machines may manage specific functions.
What defines a machine?
A machine is defined as equipment with moving parts designed to perform a particular task.
Are devices always man-made?
Typically, yes, devices are man-made objects created to perform specific tasks.
Are all computers devices?
Yes, computers are categorized as devices, given their specific functional capabilities.
Are machines always large?
No, machines come in various sizes, from microscopic to gigantic.
Can machines think or have consciousness?
No, machines do not possess consciousness or the ability to think independently.
Do all machines have moving parts?
Generally, yes, machines have moving parts that perform specific tasks or functions.
Are all machines complex?
No, machines can be simple with few parts or complex with many interconnected parts.
Is a device always tangible?
Generally, yes, a device is a tangible object that can be physically manipulated.
Can machines create other machines?
While machines can assemble or produce other machines, the design and initiation are driven by human intervention.
Is a vehicle considered a machine?
Yes, vehicles with moving parts and mechanisms to perform tasks are considered machines.
Does a machine always require energy?
Typically, yes, machines require some form of energy to perform their intended tasks.
Is a computer considered a machine?
Yes, a computer is regarded as a type of machine.
Written bySawaira Riaz
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Edited byHuma Saeed
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