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automaton

[ aw-tom-uh-ton, -tn ]
/ ɔˈtɒm əˌtɒn, -tn /
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noun, plural au·tom·a·tons, au·tom·a·ta [aw-tom-uh-tuh] /ɔˈtɒm ə tə/.

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.

RELATED WORDS

Nearby words

automation, automatism, automatization, automatize, automatograph, automaton, automechanism, autometer, automobile, automobile insurance, automobilia

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
Related formsau·tom·a·tous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for automaton

automaton

/ (ɔːˈtɒməˌtɒn, -tən) /

noun plural -tons or -ta (-tə)

a mechanical device operating under its own hidden power; robot
a person who acts mechanically or leads a routine monotonous life
Derived Formsautomatous, adjective

Word Origin for automaton

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 automaton

automaton


n.

1610s, from Latin automaton (Suetonius), from Greek automaton, neuter of automatos "self-acting," from autos "self" (see auto-) + matos "thinking, animated, willing," from PIE *mn-to-, from root *men- "to think" (see mind (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper