Adding machine – Definition & Meaning

An adding machine is a mechanical or electronic device that is designed to perform basic arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The machine is typically used in accounting and bookkeeping to help calculate and record financial transactions. In this article, we will explore the definition, origin, meaning, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences of the adding machine.


An adding machine is a specialized calculator designed for bookkeeping or accounting purposes. It is used to add up long columns of numbers quickly and accurately. The machine can also perform other basic arithmetic operations such as subtraction, multiplication, and division.


The first adding machine was invented by Blaise Pascal in the 17th century. The machine used a series of dials and gears to perform addition and subtraction. Over the years, the design of adding machines has evolved to include electronic and digital versions that are much faster and more accurate than their mechanical predecessors.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an adding machine is “a machine used for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing numbers, especially a mechanical or electronic device used in bookkeeping.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a machine for adding and subtracting numbers, typically having a keyboard and a printer for producing a record of the calculation.”


The adding machine is often associated with accounting and bookkeeping, as it is used to calculate financial transactions. It is also associated with efficiency and accuracy, as it can perform calculations much faster and more accurately than a human.


Synonyms for adding machine include calculator, accounting machine, bookkeeping machine, and adding device.


Antonyms for adding machine include manual calculations, mental calculations, and handwritten calculations.

The same root words

The root words of adding machine are “add” and “machine.” Add means to combine or join together, while machine refers to a mechanical or electronic device that performs a specific function.

Example Sentences

  1. The accountant used an adding machine to calculate the company’s profits and losses.
  2. The adding machine made quick work of the long column of numbers.
  3. The digital adding machine was much faster and more accurate than the old mechanical one.
  4. The accountant showed the client how to use the adding machine to balance their checkbook.
  5. The adding machine was an essential tool for bookkeepers in the days before computers.
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