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.
- au·tom·a·tous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use automaton in a sentence
Charles Babbage was partial to Merlin’s Mechanical Museum, with its many automata.
At first, I saw the game like a machine, not unlike the Mechanical Turk, that impressive 18th-century hoax of a chess-playing automaton, its parts moving and interacting according to complex yet intuitive principles.We Taught Computers To Play Chess — And Then They Left Us Behind | Oliver Roeder | January 25, 2022 | FiveThirtyEight
These included instructions for how to make elaborate dioramas with moving figures, musical automata, mechanical servants, and automata powered by steam, water, air, and mechanics.
I would much rather share the world with them than with thoughtless automatons.Do You Want AI to Be Conscious? - Issue 102: Hidden Truths | Ryota Kanai | June 9, 2021 | Nautilus
For much of the 20th century, nonhuman creatures were seen as essentially biological automatons that responded in certain instinctual ways to external stimulus, but lacked the rich inner lives and selfhood that humans possess.
“It was no brute whom Smiley was pursuing with such mastery, no unqualified fanatic after all, no automaton,” le Carré writes.Iran’s Top Spy Is the Modern-Day Karla, John Le Carré’s Villainous Mastermind | Michael Weiss | July 2, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Despite how he might come across in the history books, he wasn't some bland, rule-following "high-integrity" automaton.
But it did suggest that Rubio was more than a Reaganite automaton.
On one hand she's a pitch-perfect automaton; indeed, her longest speaking part is half a sentence in Russian.
Crawley came walking like an automaton from whose joints the oil had suddenly dried.It Is Never Too Late to Mend | Charles Reade
The scrivener did look up accordingly, with the action of an automaton which suddenly obeys the impulse of a pressed spring.The Fortunes of Nigel | Sir Walter Scott
Like an automaton the man stepped forward, and after him paced the white horse.Riders of the Silences | John Frederick
I have again the old feeling of having surrendered my imagination and of moving like an automaton.The Wasted Generation | Owen Johnson
The same gentleman exhibited an automaton in England, of the figure of a man, as large as life.The Book of Curiosities | I. Platts
British Dictionary definitions for automaton
a mechanical device operating under its own hidden power; robot
a person who acts mechanically or leads a routine monotonous life
- automatous, adjective
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