ap·pa·rat·us (ăp′ə-rătəs, -rātəs)
n. pl. apparatus or ap·pa·rat·us·es
a. An appliance or device for a particular purpose: an x-ray apparatus.
b. An integrated group of materials or devices used for a particular purpose: dental apparatus. See Synonyms at equipment.
a. The totality of means by which a designated function is performed or a specific task executed, as in a system of government.
b. A political organization or an underground political movement. Also called apparat.
3. Physiology A group or system of organs that collectively perform a specific function or process: the respiratory apparatus; the digestive apparatus.
4. The critical and source material, usually including notes and a glossary, that accompanies a scholarly edition of a text.
[Latin apparātus, preparation, from past participle of apparāre, to prepare : ad-, ad- + parāre, to prepare; see perə-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.