/ap'euh rat"euhs, -ray"teuhs/ , n. , pl. apparatus, apparatuses .
1. a group or combination of instruments, machinery, tools, materials, etc., having a particular function or intended for a specific use: Our town has excellent fire-fighting apparatus.
2. any complex instrument or mechanism for a particular purpose.
3. any system or systematic organization of activities, functions, processes, etc., directed toward a specific goal: the apparatus of government; espionage apparatus.
4. Physiol. a group of structurally different organs working together in the performance of a particular function: the digestive apparatus.
[ 1620-30; apparatus equipment, orig. the act of equipping, preparation, equiv. to appara ( re ) to prepare ( ap- AP- 1 + parare; see PREPARE) + -tus suffix of v. action ]
Syn. 2. machine, appliance, device, contraption, contrivance.