automaton[ô täm′ə tän′, -tən]
- The definition of an automaton is a self-propelled or self-powered machine.
An example of an automaton is a car that drives without a human driver.
nounpl. automatons or automata
- anything that can move or act of itself
- an apparatus that automatically performs certain actions by responding to preset controls or encoded instructions
- an electronic machine, control device, etc. equipped with a computer and designed to operate automatically in response to instructions previously fed into the computer
- a person or animal acting in an automatic or mechanical way
Origin of automatonClassical Latin ; from Classical Greek neuter of automatos: see automatic
nounpl. au·tom·a·tons or au·tom·a·ta
- A self-operating machine or mechanism, especially a robot.
- One that behaves or responds in a mechanical way.
Origin of automatonLatin, self-operating machine, from Greek, from neuter of automatos, self-acting; see automatic.
(plural automatons or automata)
- A machine or robot designed to follow a precise sequence of instructions.
- A person who acts like a machine or robot, often defined as having a monotonous lifestyle and lacking in emotion.
- Due to her strict adherence to her daily schedule, Jessica was becoming more and more convinced that she was an automaton.
- A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second, that second for a third, and so on 'til the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering. - Thomas Jefferson
- A formal system, such as finite automaton.
- A toy in the form of a mechanical figure.
From Ancient Greek αὐτόματον (automaton), neuter of αὐτόματος (automatos, “self moving, self willed”).