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rotor

[roh-ter]
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noun
  1. Electricity. a rotating member of a machine.Compare stator(def 1).
  2. Aeronautics. a system of rotating airfoils, as the horizontal ones of a helicopter or of the compressor of a jet engine.
  3. any of a number of tall, cylindrical devices mounted on a special ship (rotor ship) and rotated in such a way that the Magnus effect of wind impinging on the cylinders is used to drive and maneuver the vessel.
  4. (in a self-winding watch) a weight eccentrically mounted on an arbor for keeping the mainspring wound.

Origin of rotor

First recorded in 1873; short for rotator
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for rotor

rotor

noun
  1. the rotating member of a machine or device, esp the armature of a motor or generator or the rotating assembly of a turbineCompare stator
  2. a device having blades radiating from a central hub that is rotated to produce thrust to lift and propel a helicopter
  3. the revolving arm of the distributor of an internal-combustion engine
  4. a violent rolling wave of air occurring in the lee of a mountain or hill, in which the air rotates about a horizontal axis

Word Origin

C20: shortened form of rotator
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 rotor

n.

1873, irregular shortening of rotator (see rotate (v.)), originally in mathematics. Mechanical sense is attested from 1903; specifically of helicopters from 1930.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper