Mech"an*ism (?), n. [Cf. F. m'ecanisme, L. mechanisma. See Mechanic.]
The arrangement or relation of the parts of a machine; the parts of a machine, taken collectively; the arrangement or relation of the parts of anything as adapted to produce an effect; as, the mechanism of a watch; the mechanism of a sewing machine; the mechanism of a seed pod.
Mechanical operation or action.
He acknowledges nothing besides matter and motion; so that all must be performed either by mechanism or accident.
An ideal machine; a combination of movable bodies constituting a machine, but considered only with regard to relative movements.
© Webster 1913.