[ jen-uh-rey-ter ]
/ ˈdʒɛn əˌreɪ tər /
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See synonyms for: generator / generators on Thesaurus.com

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.
a person or thing that generates.
Chemistry. an apparatus for producing a gas or vapor.
  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.
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. 2023

How to use generator in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for generator

/ (ˈdʒɛnəˌreɪtə) /

  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
an apparatus for producing a gas
a person or thing that generates
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

Scientific definitions for generator

[ jĕnə-rā′tər ]

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.
See generatrix.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for 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).

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.