from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A self-operating machine or mechanism, especially a robot.
  • noun One that behaves or responds in a mechanical way.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun That which is self-moving, or has the power of spontaneous movement, but is not conscious.
  • noun Specifically A self-acting machine, or one which is actuated in such a manner as to carry on for some time certain movements without the aid of external impulse.
  • noun A living being acting mechanically or as a mere machine, especially without consciousness; a person or an animal whose actions are purely involuntary or mechanical.
  • noun A person who acts in a monotonous routine manner, without active intelligence, especially without being fully aware of what he is doing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Any thing or being regarded as having the power of spontaneous motion or action.
  • noun A self-moving machine, or one which has its motive power within itself; -- applied chiefly to machines which appear to imitate spontaneously the motions of living beings, such as men, birds, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A machine or robot designed to follow a precise sequence of instructions.
  • noun A person who acts like a machine or robot, often defined as having a monotonous lifestyle and lacking in emotion.
  • noun A formal system, such as finite automaton.
  • noun A toy in the form of a mechanical figure.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun someone who acts or responds in a mechanical or apathetic way
  • noun a mechanism that can move automatically


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin, self-operating machine, from Greek, from neuter of automatos, self-acting; see automatic.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek αὐτόματον (automaton), neuter of αὐτόματος (automatos, "self moving, self willed").


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