or con·ver·tor

[kuh n-vur-ter]
  1. a person or thing that converts.
  2. Electricity. a device that converts alternating current to direct current or vice versa.Compare inverter, synchronous converter.
  3. Metallurgy. a chamber or vessel through which an oxidizing blast of air is forced, as in making steel by the Bessemer process.
  4. Television. decoder(def 5).
  5. Radio and Television. an auxiliary device that permits a receiver to pick up frequencies or channels for which it was not originally designed.
  6. Physics. a reactor for converting one kind of fuel into another kind.
  7. a person who is engaged in converting textile fabrics, especially cotton cloths, from the raw state into the finished product ready for the market by bleaching, dyeing, etc.
  8. Also called converter lens. Photography. an additional lens attached to a lens in use on a camera to alter focal length, mounted in front of a lens to produce a wide-angle effect (wide-angle converter) or between the lens and the camera body to produce a telephoto effect (teleconverter or extender).

Origin of converter

First recorded in 1525–35; convert1 + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for convertor

Historical Examples of convertor

  • The steel itself as it was poured from the convertor was found to be not more than one-sixty-fourth as hot as the sun.

British Dictionary definitions for convertor



  1. a person or thing that converts
  2. physics
    1. a device for converting alternating current to direct current or vice versa
    2. a device for converting a signal from one frequency to another or from analogue to digital forms
  3. a vessel in which molten metal is refined, using a blast of air or oxygenSee also Bessemer converter, L-D converter
  4. short for converter reactor
  5. computing a device for converting one form of coded information to another, such as an analogue-to-digital converter
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 convertor



1530s, agent noun from convert (v.). Of machinery, from 1867.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

convertor in Science


  1. An electrical device that changes the form of an electric signal or power source, as by converting alternating current to direct current, or an analog signal to a digital signal. Compare rectifier transformer.
  2. An electronic device that changes the frequency of a radio or other electromagnetic signal.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.