mech ‧ a ‧ nis ‧ m S3 W3 AC /ˈmekənɪz ə m/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Word Family: noun : ↑ machine , ↑ machinery , ↑ machinist , ↑ mechanic , mechanics, ↑ mechanism , ↑ mechanization ; adjective : ↑ mechanical , ↑ mechanized , ↑ mechanistic ; verb : ↑ machine , ↑ mechanize ; adverb : ↑ mechanically , ↑ mechanistically ]
1 . part of a machine or a set of parts that does a particular job:
the brake mechanism
a clock mechanism
2 . a system that is intended to achieve something or deal with a problem
mechanism for (doing) something
existing mechanisms for decision making
mechanism to do something
The Army has set up mechanisms to help jobless ex-soldiers get work.
⇨ ↑ exchange rate mechanism
3 . a system or a way of behaving that helps a living thing to avoid or protect itself from something difficult or dangerous
When a person is ill, the body’s natural defence mechanisms come into operation.
4 . the way that something works
the mechanism of the brain