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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Appliance \Ap*pli"ance\, n. 1. The act of applying; application. [1913 Webster] 2. subservience; compliance. [Obs.] --Shak. [1913 Webster] 3. A thing applied or used as a means to an end; an apparatus or device; as, to use various appliances; a mechanical appliance; a machine with its appliances. [1913 Webster] 4. Specifically: An apparatus or device, usually powered electrically, used in homes to perform domestic functions. An appliance is often categorized as a major appliance or a minor appliance by its cost. Common major appliances are the refrigerator, washing machine, clothes drier, oven, and dishwasher. Some minor appliances are a toaster, vacuum cleaner or microwave oven. [PJC]