- a plural of automaton.
- a mechanical figure or contrivance constructed to act as if by its own motive power; robot.
- a person or animal that acts in a monotonous, routine manner, without active intelligence.
- something capable of acting automatically or without an external motive force.
Origin of automaton
1605–15; < Latin: automatic device < Greek, noun use of neuter of autómatos spontaneous, acting without human agency, equivalent to auto- auto-1 + -matos, adj. derivative from base of memonénai to intend, ménos might, force
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for automata
Vaucanson, however, did not confine himself merely to the making of automata.Self-Help
It was simultaneous on the part of all, and resembled that of automata, moved by machinery.The Riflemen of the Miami
Edward S. Ellis
But in the case of man, what automata, indeed, have we not here!Evolution, Old & New
There they stood, automata, representatives of the society which streamed past them.Democracy An American Novel
You think, too, then, that were all in such a rut; living Chinese lives; automata?Adrienne Toner
Anne Douglas Sedgwick
- a plural of automaton
- a mechanical device operating under its own hidden power; robot
- a person who acts mechanically or leads a routine monotonous life
C17: from Latin, from Greek, from automatos spontaneous, self-moving
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for automata
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper