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generator

[jen-uh-rey-ter]
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noun
  1. a machine that converts one form of energy into another, especially mechanical energy into electrical energy, as a dynamo, or electrical energy into sound, as an acoustic generator.
  2. a person or thing that generates.
  3. Chemistry. an apparatus for producing a gas or vapor.
  4. Mathematics.
    1. an element or one of a set of elements from which a specified mathematical object can be formed by applying certain operations.
    2. an element, as a line, that generates a figure.
  5. Computers. a program that produces a particular type of output on demand, as random numbers, an application program, or a report.
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Origin of generator

1640–50; < Latin generātor producer, equivalent to generā(re) (see generate) + -tor -tor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for generator

generator

noun
  1. physics
    1. any device for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy by electromagnetic induction, esp a large one as in a power station
    2. a device for producing a voltage electrostatically
    3. any device that converts one form of energy into another forman acoustic generator
  2. an apparatus for producing a gas
  3. a person or thing that generates
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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 generator

n.

1640s, "person or thing that generates," from Latin generator "a begetter, producer," agent noun from past participle stem of generare (see generation). Meaning "machine that generates power" first recorded 1794; in sense of "machine that generates electric energy," 1879. Fem. generatrix attested from 1650s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

generator in Medicine

generator

(jĕnə-rā′tər)
n.
  1. One that generates, especially a machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

generator in Science

generator

[jĕnə-rā′tər]
  1. A machine that converts mechanical energy into electricity to serve as a power source for other machines. Electrical generators found in power plants use water turbines, combustion engines, windmills, or other sources of mechanical energy to spin wire coils in strong magnetic fields, inducing an electric potential in the coils. A generator that provides alternating current power is called an alternator. See also induction.
  2. See generatrix.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

generator in Culture

generator

A device that produces electric current (see also current), usually by rotating a conductor in a magnetic field, thereby generating current through electromagnetic induction. This sort of generator produces an alternating current (AC).

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.