Let's assume a dichotomy of standard machines versus cellular machines. Today, most machines are non-cellular, and are made up of large, specialized parts that themselves are not made up cells, and may be homogenous in internal structure (i.e., they aren't made up of any molecular mechanisms). What is the adjectival term that describes non-cellular mechanisms composed of macroscopic components, to counter the term "cellular machine"?

I could use a term like "non-cellular mechanism" but is there one more descriptive than describing what it is not?

(Context: I have beings in one of my stories that are wholly bionic on a cellular scale, but on a standard scale are "biomimetic" in a way so they appear fully organic. But there are some that visually indicate their techno-organic nature due to "growths" and mechanisms that are not made up of cells. A counter-term to "cellular mechanism" will be useful to me in writing about these entities.)

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    $\begingroup$ I disagree with the close reason but single word request is an ELU rather than worldbuilding thing. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Oct 23 '17 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ How about holistic mechinary? In that with traditional machines, any damage done to one will likely affect it in its entirety, likely causing it to cease functioning properly. On the other hand, entities of a cellular nature have by comparaison a remarkable ability to repair and adapt in the face of potentially extreme harm. Or in other words cellular machines are not fully dependant on every constituant part (individual cells), where as standard machines are (and so could be said to be holistic in nature). $\endgroup$ – AngelPray Oct 23 '17 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Separatrix you can't really disagree with "Unclear what you are asking" votes. If it is unclear for 5 high-rep users, it should be edited for clarity, no matter how clear it is for you. If it is clear for you, maybe it's you who should edit? POB is another matter. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Oct 23 '17 at 19:09
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    $\begingroup$ Questions asking "what do I call x?" are often always too opinion based for this site. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Oct 23 '17 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ In our time I think the word mechanism itself would do. What do you think of "classical mechanism" $\endgroup$ – P Chapman Oct 23 '17 at 20:15

This might be a better question for the English StackExchange, but I'll give it a shot anyway.

What are your non-cellular beings made of? If, at small scales, they're made of something other than cells, what do they have instead? Are they piles of nanobots in the same way that humans are piles of cells, or do they more resemble something in a modern robotics lab?

If they're mostly made of metal, perhaps with silicon or other semiconductors for information processing and something like silicone for their skin, you could use "inorganic" to contrast with carbon-based "organic" life.

If your non-cellular beings are carbon-based, you might want to look at other ways they differ from cellular life. If they were created by mankind, you could use "artificial", "designed", or "created" to contrast with the "natural" products of Darwinian evolution.

Or, you could make up your own. Such a thing as you describe doesn't really exist in the real world (so far as I am aware), so you've got pretty free range to come up with something that fits. You could, for instance, name these beings and their physiology after the person who first created or discovered them. We already speak of Darwinian evolution; why not Perryan biology?

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  • $\begingroup$ To clarify, the cells of the bionic beings are synthetic, nanorobot-like mechanisms. Essentially a sandy programmable matter. Non-cellular beings are made of mostly metallic components. And the beings of this world exist millennia after their biology was designed by humans, so they've had time to "evolve," and thus the term "artificial" doesn't wholly work anymore. And there were many scientists involved in their creation (somewhere between 6 and a couple thousand; haven't decided yet), but headed by a man named Zewedu. I'm just looking so see if more generic terms for these concepts exist. $\endgroup$ – Jason Perry Oct 23 '17 at 19:24

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