A machine for turning, that is, for shaping articles of wood, metal, or other material, by causing them to revolve while acted upon by a cutting tool.
Basically, a machine that fashions work by making the work turn on an axis. The cutting is done by a tool that is not rotating. On wood lathes the wood usually turns between the headstock and the tailstock. The turner holds the tool by hand and moves it to cut various shapes on the wood. On metal lathes the work (whatever material is being fashioned) turns and the tool is held rigid whilst the operator moves the tool using hand wheels. Lathes are very versatile, come in a myriad of styles, and many contradict the above definitions. Wood can be cut in any metal lathe and soft metals can usually be cut on wood lathes.
A machine that is used for working metals and plastics by rotating about the horizontal axis against a tool that shapes it.