[ ri-zis-ter ]

  1. a device designed to introduce resistance into an electric circuit.

Origin of resistor

First recorded in 1900–05; resist + -or2

Words that may be confused with resistor

Words Nearby resistor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use resistor in a sentence

  • As an assertor, as a resistor of Arminian denials, we may embrace him and go all lengths with him.

    The Gospel of St. John | Frederick Denison Maurice
  • If there was something wrong it was subtle, like a burned out resistor or a shorted condenser.

    The Quantum Jump | Robert Wicks

British Dictionary definitions for resistor


/ (rɪˈzɪstə) /

  1. an electrical component designed to introduce a known value of resistance into a circuit

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 resistor


[ rĭ-zĭstər ]

  1. A device used in electrical circuits to maintain a constant relation between current flow and voltage. Resistors are used to step up or lower the voltage at different points in a circuit and to transform a current signal into a voltage signal or vice versa, among other uses. The electrical behavior of a resistor obeys Ohm's law for a constant resistance; however, some resistors are sensitive to heat, light, or other variables.Variable resistors, or rheostats, have a resistance that may be varied across a certain range, usually by means of a mechanical device that alters the position of one terminal of the resistor along a strip of resistant material. The length of the intervening material determines the resistance. Mechanical variable resistors are also called potentiometers, and are used in the volume knobs of audio equipment and in many other devices. Compare capacitor. See more at Ohm's law.

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